Small Business Growth

Storytelling in Content Marketing: Why It Works for Small Businesses

With an influx of information on new brands flooding the internet, new businesses need to inform potential customers about their products or services. Consumers increasingly seek connections, experiences, and narratives that resonate with them. Enter storytelling, the age-old art that has kept humans engaged for millennia. For small businesses vying for a share of the market, storytelling in content marketing is not just a trend but a powerful strategy that offers a competitive edge.

What is Storytelling in Content Marketing?

Storytelling in content marketing involves weaving a compelling narrative throughout your digital or traditional marketing assets. It’s not about selling a product but establishing relationships and creating an emotional bond between your brand and audience. The story can be anything from founding your small business to how your product can solve a problem your audience faces.

The Elements of Storytelling in Content Marketing

In content marketing, stories don’t have to be elaborate epics to be effective. Even the simplest narrative is usually built around three core elements: character, conflict, and resolution.

  1. Character: This could be the founder, the employee, or the customer. This character must be relatable to its audience.
  2. Conflict: This element involves a problem or a challenge that needs to be solved, which in many cases is the pain point of your prospective customers.
  3. Resolution: This is where your product or service steps in as the hero, offering a solution to the conflict.

Why Storytelling in Content Marketing is Effective

Builds Trust and Credibility

People buy from businesses they trust. Storytelling in content marketing lets you showcase what you sell and who you are, allowing your audience to know, like, and trust you. In addition, it highlights the values and mission that define your brand.

Engages Emotion

While features and statistics appeal to logic, stories appeal to emotion—a powerful motivator in the decision-making process. It’s why brands like Lululemon and Gym Shark have done extremely well connecting with their target audience; they don’t just sell products, but ideologies.

Enhances Retention

According to psychological research, stories are 22 times more memorable than facts alone. By weaving factual information into a compelling narrative, you make it easier for potential customers to remember your brand and message.

The Special Benefits for Small Businesses

Budget-Friendly

Like most small businesses and startups, they operate on strict budgets, making cost-effectiveness crucial. Storytelling in content marketing usually requires a manageable outlay; it needs credibility and a deep understanding of your audience. You don’t need expensive ad campaigns when you have a story to tell.

Niche Appeal

Large corporations often aim for mass appeal, which could mean their storytelling needs a more personal touch. Small businesses, however, usually operate within niche markets, allowing for highly targeted and relatable storytelling in content marketing.

Community Connection

Being small means you can form more intimate connections. Your story can relate directly to local experiences, needs, and challenges, making it easier for the community to connect with and support you.

How to Integrate Storytelling in Content Marketing

Customer Success Stories and Testimonials

Instead of presenting these as mere reviews, craft them into compelling narratives that showcase real-life situations where your business made a difference.

Behind-The-Scenes Content

People love to know how things are made or who’s behind a product. This can be effectively communicated through ‘day-in-the-life’ videos, interviews, or blog posts about your team.

Educational Content

Guides and how-tos can be more engaging when you incorporate Storytelling in Content Marketing elements. Rather than just instructing, make it a journey where each step is a milestone towards the reader’s personal success.

Social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook allow for serialized storytelling through videos, posts, and stories. Use these features to create ongoing stories that keep your audience engaged.

Case Study: A Small Business Success Story

For example, let’s look at a hypothetical organic skincare line called SkinFuel. They could tell their “story” through blog posts detailing the founder’s journey from suffering from skin issues and natural solutions. Videos could demonstrate how the products are made, featuring interviews with the team members responsible. User-generated content could feature customer stories, showing before-and-after results with the product.

Through these stories, SkinFuel is not just selling skincare products; they’re selling a lifestyle change, a commitment they’re living, and a community that shares these values.

Summary

Storytelling in content marketing is not a one-off marketing gimmick; it’s a long-term strategy involving commitment, creativity, and authenticity. For small businesses, storytelling isn’t just a tool for customer engagement; it isn’t for meaningful, lasting relationships. By incorporating storytelling into your content marketing, you aren’t just sharing what your products can do; you are sharing who you are, and that’s something you resonate far more deeply with your audience.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you want to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

New Small Business Plan Map: 10 Proven Strategies

In a world where 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of their operation, it is crucial to have a robust strategy for your small business. The challenges of today’s competitive market make it necessary to adopt proven strategies that ensure growth and sustainability. This comprehensive guide will explore ten critical strategies every new small business should consider to thrive in today’s marketplace.

1. Understanding Your Market | Identifying the Target Audience

Every business must know its audience. Understanding your target demographic helps shape products, marketing efforts, and overall business approach.

Importance of Market Research

Market research is essential in identifying consumer needs, preferences, and buying patterns. It aids in aligning your business with market demand. Companies can better understand their audience’s behaviors and motivations using qualitative and quantitative methods like surveys or interviews. This understanding enables the creation of more effective marketing strategies and product developments, ensuring that offerings resonate with customers and meet their specific needs.

Tools and Methods

Utilizing surveys, focus groups, and online analytics tools can provide insightful data about your target market. These methods enable a deeper understanding of customer preferences, behaviors, and trends, allowing for more targeted marketing and product development strategies. By continuously monitoring and adapting to this data, businesses can adjust their game plans and align their offerings with their customer base’s ever-changing needs and desires.

2. Building a Strong Business Plan Map 

Explanation of a Business Plan Map

A well-structured business plan map acts as a roadmap for your business, detailing the route to growth and success. It defines the objectives and strategies and serves as a reference point for evaluating progress, enabling you to make informed and timely adjustments. Furthermore, a well-articulated plan can instill confidence in stakeholders, from employees to investors, creating a shared vision that motivates and aligns the entire organization.

Key Components

These components include an executive summary, market analysis, organizational structure, and financial projections. Each piece plays a vital role in guiding and attracting potential investors.

The Role of a Business Plan Map

A strong business plan map is more than just a fundraising tool. It helps in decision-making and allows for strategic adjustments as the business grows. By providing a clear roadmap and outlining goals, milestones, and potential challenges, a well-crafted business plan map serves as a vital reference point for all stakeholders. Regularly revisiting and updating the plan ensures that it remains relevant, guiding the business plan map effectively through different stages of growth and market shifts.”

3. Leveraging Technology | Introduction to Tools

From accounting software to marketing automation tools, technology can streamline various operations in your business plan map.

Effective Use of Social Media

Social media is an effective way to communicate and engage with consumers and foster brand recognition. Creating and sharing content allows businesses to establish a dialogue with their audience, encouraging interaction and feedback. Social media platforms provide critical information on customer habits, allowing business plan map to create a customer blueprint. Additionally, through strategic advertising and collaboration with influencers, social media can significantly extend a brand’s reach and influence within the target market.

Analyzing Customer Behavior

Tools like Google Analytics can help understand customer behavior and identify what resonates with your audience and where improvements may be needed by tracking metrics such as user engagement, bounce rate, and conversion paths. This data-driven approach allows for targeted marketing strategies and product enhancements, ensuring your business plan map offerings align with customer needs and preferences, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty.

4. Focus on Customer Service 

Understanding Customer Needs

networking event small business
Listening to customers can significantly enhance your product or service offering. By actively seeking feedback through surveys, focus groups, or social media interactions, business plan map can identify areas for improvement and innovate to meet customer demands. Additionally, creating an ongoing dialogue with customers creates loyalty, increasing customer retention and a more robust brand reputation.

Strategies for Enhancing Experience

Providing exceptional support, easy navigation, and a personalized experience can increase customer satisfaction. Implementing tools like AI-powered chatbots for instant support or using analytics to tailor recommendations based on previous interactions can further elevate the customer experience. These strategies foster deeper connections with your customers, potentially increasing customer retention rates and positive word-of-mouth, strengthening your brand’s position in the market.

Building Loyalty

Happy customers become loyal customers. Encourage repeat business through loyalty programs and consistent quality service.

5. Financial Management | Importance of Budgeting

A well-planned budget helps track expenses and ensures that funds are allocated wisely. Implementing regular budget reviews allows for timely adjustments, ensuring that resources align with shifting priorities and market conditions. Utilizing budgeting tools and software can further streamline this process, providing real-time insights and analytics to make informed financial decisions, ultimately supporting the stability and growth of the business plan map.

Risk Management Strategies

This includes identifying potential financial risks and taking measures to mitigate them. Regularly reviewing financial statements, conducting scenario planning, and having a diversified investment strategy can safeguard against unexpected downturns or market fluctuations. Consulting with financial experts or utilizing risk management software can provide specialized insights and tools to navigate complex economic landscapes, ensuring your business remains resilient and adaptable to change.”

Utilizing Professional Services

Sometimes, hiring a financial professional can save you time and provide expert guidance in complex financial matters. Engaging with accountants, financial planners, or legal advisors can help navigate regulatory requirements and optimize tax strategies and investment decisions. By leveraging the expertise of these professionals, a small business plan map can focus more on core operations, secure in the knowledge that financial matters are handled with precision and care.

6. Implementing Agile Methodologies

What are Agile Methodologies?

Agile methodologies utilize a flexible and iterative process in project management, enabling more rapid adjustments and enhancing efficiency. This approach promotes collaboration among team members and encourages regular feedback, allowing for continuous improvement and alignment with project goals. By adapting to changes quickly and focusing on customer needs, Agile methodologies can lead to more successful project outcomes and higher customer satisfaction.

How They Can Be Applied

Implementing agile strategies in product development or marketing campaigns can lead to better results. By embracing a culture of adaptability and continuous feedback, teams can quickly respond to customer needs or market conditions changes, ensuring that efforts remain aligned with business goals. Additionally, the iterative nature of Agile allows for ongoing evaluation and refinement, making it possible to learn from each stage and improve both processes and outcomes. This approach enhances efficiency and fosters a collaborative environment that empowers team members to contribute their best work.

Benefits of an Agile Approach

An agile approach fosters a culture of continuous improvement, enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction. Allowing quick adaptations and encouraging regular feedback ensures the project stays aligned with customer needs and market dynamics. Additionally, the collaborative nature of Agile promotes strong team synergy and allows for more creative problem-solving, contributing to innovative solutions that better fulfill client expectations.

7. Networking and Building Relationships

Importance of Networking

Networking helps in creating partnerships, finding mentors, and gaining customer insights. By cultivating relationships with other professionals, business plan map can leverage collective wisdom, access new resources, and explore collaboration opportunities. Furthermore, networking fosters a sense of community and provides a support system that can be invaluable in navigating challenges, sharing knowledge, and contributing to personal and professional growth.

Tips for Building Relationships

Attend industry events, join business groups, and leverage online platforms to connect with others in your industry. Activities like these can expand your professional network and provide opportunities to learn from peers and industry experts. By fostering relationships and engaging in meaningful interactions, business plan map can create potential partnerships that can contribute to growth and success.

Leveraging Local Business Groups

Engaging with local business communities can provide support and open doors to new opportunities. business plan map can access resources, gain insights into local market dynamics, and collaborate with other entrepreneurs by participating in local chambers of commerce or industry-specific groups. These connections often lead to mutually beneficial partnerships and a stronger sense of community, which can be valuable in growing and sustaining a successful business.

8. Embracing Sustainability; Sustainability as a Competitive Advantage

A growing number of consumers are drawn to sustainable brands. Adopting eco-friendly practices can set your business apart.

Practical Tips

These tips include reducing waste, using sustainable materials, and engaging in community sustainability projects. Implementing energy-efficient practices, such as LED lighting or solar energy, can minimize environmental impact and often lead to cost savings. Partnering with local environmental organizations can enhance your business’s reputation as a responsible community member and align your brand with a growing consumer interest in sustainability.”

Customer Perceptions

Transparency in your sustainable practices can enhance trust and loyalty among your customers. You create a connection with eco-conscious consumers by clearly communicating your commitment to sustainability and providing evidence of your environmentally friendly initiatives. Additionally, actively involving customers in your sustainability journey through interactive campaigns or feedback solicitation can foster a sense of shared responsibility and further strengthen your brand’s relationship with its audience.

9. Continuous Learning and Development

Encouraging Continuous Learning

Promoting a learning culture within your organization keeps your team up-to-date and encourages innovation. By investing in ongoing education and training, businesses enhance their employees’ skills and cultivate a proactive and responsive workforce that can adapt to market changes. Emphasizing continuous learning can foster a collaborative environment where knowledge sharing becomes a norm, strengthening the team’s cohesion and overall effectiveness.

Tools for Development

Consider utilizing online courses, workshops, and regular training sessions. These educational avenues offer tailored experiences for broad industry insights and specialized skill development. Partnering with academic institutions or industry experts for customized training can further align learning opportunities with your business goals, ensuring that development efforts directly contribute to organizational growth and success.”

Importance of Staying Updated

Constant learning ensures your business plan map stays competitive and adapts to evolving market trends. Embracing new industry insights and technological advancements keeps your organization at the forefront of innovation and empowers your team to anticipate changes and respond proactively. By fostering a culture that values staying updated, you cultivate agility and resilience, two essential qualities in today’s rapidly changing business landscape.

10. Analyzing and Adapting

Regularly Reviewing Strategies

Consistent evaluation of business strategies helps recognize what works and needs to change. By implementing a systematic review process, companies can identify areas of success and uncover potential weaknesses or inefficiencies that need addressing. This proactive approach enables organizations to make real-time informed adjustments, fostering continuous improvement and enhancing overall business performance and sustainability.

Adapting to Market Changes

Being flexible and adaptable ensures that your business plan map can respond to shifts in the market landscape. This ability to pivot quickly not only helps in capitalizing on new opportunities but also in mitigating potential risks and challenges. Keeping a close eye on industry trends and customer behavior and having strategies to adjust accordingly helps businesses stay aligned with their long-term goals and mission.

Using Analytics

Data analytics provide insights into your business plan map performance, allowing for informed strategic adjustments. Monitoring analytics leads to more precise decision-making and the ability to respond to market dynamics proactively.

Brief Recap

The dynamic landscape of small business plan map management requires innovative and robust strategies. By understanding your market, planning thoughtfully, leveraging technology, and emphasizing customer service, financial management, and continuous learning, you can set your business on a path to success. These networking strategies, sustainability, and adaptability can make your small business survive and thrive.

Successful entrepreneurs must be willing to learn, adapt, and innovate. Implementing these ten proven strategies can provide a strong foundation for new small businesses navigating entrepreneurship’s complex and rewarding world.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Thinking Outside the Box: Using Imagination to Grow Your Small Business

If you’re a small business owner, you’ll likely know that building a successful enterprise requires hard work, dedication, and perseverance. However, more effort may be needed to stand out from the competition; this is where imagination comes in handy. Thinking outside the box allows you to be creative and unconventional when growing your small business. In this blog post, we’ll explore how you can use your imagination to grow your small business.

1. Start with a Mindset Shift 

The first step to thinking outside the box is to shift your mindset. Instead of thinking in terms of limitations, start thinking about possibilities. Let go of your preconceived notions about what’s possible and what’s not. By opening up your mind to new ideas and approaches, you can generate new solutions to old problems.

Try asking yourself, “What if…?” or “How might we…?” These open-ended questions can help you break free from conventional thinking and develop new and innovative ideas. For example, if you own a restaurant, you might ask yourself, “What if we offered a vegan menu?” This exercise could help you tap into a growing market of health-conscious diners.

2. Embrace Creativity 

Imagination and creativity go hand in hand. To think outside the norm:

  1. Allow yourself to experiment with new ideas and approaches.
  2. Don’t worry about what may or may not happen.
  3. Be open to taking risks and trying new things, even if they don’t always work out.

One way to embrace creativity is to encourage brainstorming sessions with your team. During these sessions, encourage everyone to share their ideas, no matter how wild or unconventional they may seem. Try to generate as many new ideas as possible and scale them down to the most feasible and likely to produce results.

Another way to foster creativity is to expose yourself to new experiences and perspectives. Be bold, attend networking events outside your industry, and seek opportunities to learn from other successful entrepreneurs. You allow your creativity to flow when you’re open to new ideas and perspectives.

3. Challenge Assumptions
Thinking Outside the Box

Sometimes, the biggest obstacle to thinking outside the box is our assumptions. We may assume that certain things are impossible or that specific approaches won’t work. However, challenging these assumptions allows us to open up new possibilities and generate fresh ideas.

For example, if you run a retail store, you might assume that your customers only want to shop in person. However, by challenging this assumption, you might come up with the idea of offering online shopping or curbside pickup. Thinking outside the box could help you reach new customers and increase sales.

4. Focus on Customer Needs 

One of the keys to growing a small business is to focus on the needs and wants of your customers. Consider how you can best customize your products or services to meet their needs by understanding their pain points and desires.

To do this, start by talking to your customers. Ask them what they like about your business, what they don’t like, and what they want to see more of. Customers offer valuable insights into how you can improve a product or service to serve them better. 

Another way to focus on customer needs is to observe their behavior. Look for patterns in their shopping habits, preferences, and complaints. Start identifying areas where you can improve your business and meet their needs.

5. Look for Inspiration Everywhere 

Finally, to think outside the box, you need to be open to inspiration from all sources. Start looking for ideas and inspiration everywhere you go, from other businesses in your industry to entirely unrelated fields.

For example, it’s common for hair studios to look to fashion trends for inspiration on new hairstyles and color palettes. Draw inspiration from successful restaurants on how they market their menu items or create a unique atmosphere. By looking beyond your industry, you can gain new insights and ideas to help you stand out from the competition.

Another way to find inspiration is to tap into your passions and interests. Think about other skills or talents and hobbies that inspire your creativity. How might you incorporate these interests into your business? For example, you might host live music events at your café or restaurant if you love music.

In Summary 

Imagination is a powerful tool for small business owners. Start brainstorming to generate fresh ideas, solve old problems, and take your business to new heights. To harness the power of imagination, start by shifting your mindset, embracing creativity, challenging assumptions, focusing on customer needs, and looking for inspiration everywhere. With these strategies in place, you can build a thriving business that stands out from the competition and delivers real value to your customers.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you want like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Why Storytelling is Important for Small Business Marketing

Storytelling has been an essential part of human communication for thousands of years. It is a way of sharing our experiences, values, and beliefs in a way that engages and inspires others. In recent years, storytelling has become a powerful tool for small business marketing

Whether you are launching a new product, trying to increase brand awareness, or looking to build customer loyalty, storytelling can help you achieve your goals. This article will explore why storytelling is a game-changer for small business marketing and how to use it to grow your business.

1. Storytelling Creates Emotional Connections

Storytelling plays a profound role in selling your product because consumers are likelier to purchase brands they know and hear great things about. By telling a story, you can create an emotional connection with your audience, making them feel more invested in your brand. 

When you share your company’s story, you share your values, goals, and mission, which can help customers feel more connected to your brand. When they feel like they know you and what you stand for, they are more likely to choose your products or services over those of your competitors.

2. Storytelling Makes Your Brand More Memorable

To establish your brand presence focus on creating memorable experiences for your customer – on and offline; This includes through your social media profiles and in your storefront if it applies. 

Storytelling is an effective way to do this. People are more likely to remember a story than a list of facts or features. When you tell a compelling story about your brand, it will stick in people’s minds, making them more likely to remember your company the next time they need your product or service.

3. Storytelling Differentiates your Brand

Storytelling can help differentiate your brand from your competitors. Your products or services may be similar to those of other companies, but your story is unique. By telling your own story, you can show your customers what differentiates you from your competitors. 

You can highlight your company’s values, your unique approach to your industry, or your history of innovation. By highlighting what makes your brand memorable, you separate yourself from others within your niche or industry and attract customers who share your values and appreciate what you have to offer.

Looking to boost your brand’s visibility and reach? Our copywriting and publicity services can help you achieve just that! 

4. Storytelling Builds Trust and Credibility
Storytelling for small business

Trust and credibility are essential for any business. Customers want to feel confident that they are making the right choice when they choose a product or service. When you share your company’s history, values, and mission, you show your customers that you are transparent and authentic. Being transparent will help build a strong relationship with your customers and creates a sense of loyalty.

5. Storytelling Drives Action

Ultimately, the goal of marketing is to drive action. Whether you want customers to buy your product, sign up for your service, or engage with your brand on social media, storytelling can help. When you tell a compelling story, you can inspire your audience to take action. By tapping into their emotions and values, you can motivate them to choose your brand over your competitors.

We recommend Unleash the Power of Storytelling: Win Hearts, Change Minds, Get Results by Rob Biesenbach  a comprehensive guide that teaches you the art of storytelling and how to use it effectively in your personal and professional life. With real-life examples, practical tips, and exercises, this book will help you craft compelling stories that connect with your audience, build trust, and inspire action.

Important for Small Business

How to Use Storytelling in your Small Business Marketing

Now that we’ve explored why storytelling is essential for small business marketing let’s look at some practical tips for incorporating storytelling into your marketing strategy.

1. Find Your Story

The first step in using storytelling for your small business marketing is to find your story. What is your company’s history? What are your values and mission? What makes your brand unique? Once you clearly understand the message behind your story, you can start to craft a message that will resonate with your audience.

2. Know Your Audience

To tell a compelling story, you need to know your audience. Who are they? What are their values and interests? What motivates them to make a purchase? When you identify and understand how your audience connects with your brand, you can tailor your storytelling to resonate with them and make a stronger emotional connection.

3. Use Multiple Channels

There are many ways to tell your brand’s story, and using multiple channels to reach your audience is important. You can use your website, social media, email marketing, and even video to tell your story. Each channel has unique advantages, so use them to their fullest potential.

4. Be Authentic

Authenticity is critical when it comes to storytelling. People can tell when a story is not genuine, and it can damage your brand’s reputation. Be true to your values and mission – authenticity sells, and be personable! People connect with authenticity, so be honest and transparent in your storytelling.

5. Make it Compelling

To make your storytelling effective, it needs to be compelling. Your story should be exciting and engaging, making your audience feel something. Use vivid descriptions, personal anecdotes, and relatable characters to bring your story to life.

6. Use Storytelling Throughout the Customer Journey

Storytelling should include more than just your marketing efforts. You can use storytelling throughout the customer journey, from the first time a customer interacts with your brand to the post-purchase experience. By incorporating storytelling into every step of the customer journey, you can build stronger relationships with your customers and create a sense of loyalty.

In Summary 

As you read above, storytelling is vital to small business marketing. By creating emotional connections, making your brand more memorable, differentiating your brand, building trust and credibility, and driving action, storytelling can help you achieve your marketing goals. 

By finding your story, knowing your audience, using multiple channels, being authentic, making it compelling, and using storytelling throughout the customer journey, you can use storytelling to grow your business and build a strong brand. So start telling your story today and see how it can impact your small business marketing efforts!

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you want to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

5 Small Business Growth Strategies To Get Your Brand Noticed

The holiday season is perfect for your small business to get noticed growth strategies . Many small businesses benefit significantly during this time of year due to higher sales and more foot traffic in their stores. Holidays are also an excellent opportunity to promote your brand through cross-promotion with other businesses or hosting events that engage your community. Here are five strategies you can use to grow your business over the next few months:

1: Cross Promote with Other Businesses

Cross-promotion is a great way to get your brand noticed during the holiday season. This strategy involves promoting another business’s products or services in exchange for them promoting yours.

It can be done on social media, in-store, or through a newsletter. You should focus on businesses with similar audiences and offer products that complement yours. For example, if you sell jewelry and they sell apparel, then it makes sense to cross-promote each other’s products.

Here are some examples of businesses that could cross-promote with you:

  • Online retailers with stores on Etsy & Big Cartel
  • Local boutiques or shops where you live
  • Bloggers who write about similar topics to yours

2: Host a Food or Toy Drive

We all know how important it is to give back to our communities and positively impact others. Hosting a food or toy drive is one of the best ways to do this. You can either collect donations from your customers or run an in-store donation drive by setting up a table in the middle of your store where people can drop off their donations, or both!

Just make sure that you promote your drive so that you get the most amount of donations possible. The last thing you want is for your customers not to know about it! Once the holidays are over, thank everyone who donated so that they know how much their kindness means.

3: Engage Your Community

It would help if you also considered creating a contest for your business. This could include giving away a gift card or other prizes to encourage people in your community to visit your business. You can also ask for feedback on your products and services, which can help you improve them in the future.

Lastly, you could ask followers of social media or email lists what they think about working with your company and whether they would recommend it to others.

4: Consider a Virtual or Live Event

  • Virtual events are great for getting your brand noticed and building new customer relationships. These events can be held in several places, like on social media or via video conferencing platforms like Zoom.
  • Traditional live events can also be a huge success because you build customer relationships and connect with people in person. The difference between virtual and live events is that virtual is hosted online, while live events are held at a specific location. Still, both events can significantly impact the success of your small business growth by helping you to build rapport with new and existing customers.

5: Gift Guides

Another way to get your brand noticed is by creating a gift guide.

Whether creating your own or recommending products for another business, you’ll want to ensure that your gift guide’s content is valuable and helpful to the reader. If they find what they’re looking for in your guide, they are more likely to check out other content on your site.

Gift guides can be created in any format—online only, print only, online, and print. Having both digital versions of gift guides available allows people who prefer one form over another access to all versions without needing additional tools to view them.

The holiday season is an excellent time for your small business to get noticed and grow.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • It’s when people think about gift purchases, which means they’ll think about you and your brand.
  • The holidays are a great time to get creative with messaging, promotions, and marketing—which can lead to more word-of-mouth marketing opportunities for you. (That’s always good.)

Happy Holidays! We hope these tips will help you to grow your business this holiday season.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you want to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

6 Important Steps to Hiring a Publicist

Are you looking to hire a publicist and wondering which publicist would be the best fit for your brand? Whether your goal is to raise brand awareness, generate new leads, or get featured in the media, this post highlights six steps you can take when hiring a publicist. 

Before starting your research, here is a quick tip to keep in mind: Publicists have different specialties and offer various services. While some publicists may only provide traditional media outreach campaigns to present your brand for media coverage in a newspaper or magazine, other publicists or public relations agencies provide coaching services for public speaking and brand communication strategies.

Understanding areas of specialization will help you narrow your search to those publicists within your industry. After spending 16 years working as a publicist in the music & entertainment industry, I understand how confusing and overwhelming the process of hiring the right publicist for your project can be. After reviewing the following six steps, you will better understand vetting the right publicist for your brand. 

1. Know what your goals are for hiring a publicist. 

As a business owner, it is up to you to determine what your goals are for hiring a publicist in the first place. Publicists achieve results based on your brand’s goals and campaign objectives.

Knowing the purpose of your campaign will help you find the right publicist for the job. To help you narrow down what your goals are for hiring a publicist, consider the following questions:

  • Is it to get more media coverage? 
  • Grow and increase social media engagement?
  • Create a content calendar to highlight a specific product or service?
  • Increase brand awareness? 
  • Generate leads? 

Once you specify the goals for hiring a publicist to represent your brand, you will be better equipped to hone in on the right person or PR agency for you. Knowing your goals will also help the publicist with creating a personalized campaign strategy to achieve goals.

2. Find a publicist who specializes in your industry.

When looking for a publicist, it is crucial to look for someone who specializes in your industry. Publicists help brands get featured in media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, blogs, podcasts, and radio & TV. If you have a fashion brand, look for a publicist who has experience working with fashion brands. Another example would be if you run a company specializing in software for startups, then search for publicity experts who have previously worked with similar companies.

In some cases, specific industries intersect where a publicist with a background in planning corporate event marketing and planning can utilize that skillset to help a client who, for example, is an author planning a speaking tour or book signing for their new book. Hiring a publicist who is proficient in this regard could potentially be ideal.

3. Please do your research on the publicist to determine whether they are a good fit for you.

Start with doing your research on the publicist and their clients. You can use a tool like Google Alerts to help you find out if the publicist has been featured in any media outlets during their career. You should also check out the websites of brands who have worked with them; this will give you insight into how successful the publicist has been.

Hiring a publicist is a collaborative partnership that can last for months or years, depending on the type of campaign or service your publicist provides. A good rule of thumb is understanding who you will work with and how they communicate and oversee their clients. When speaking with them and learning more about their process, ask yourself is this the right business partnership for me?

A few additional questions to ask to learn more about how a publicist works are:

  • Do you work independently or with a team?
  • Who would be my point of contact throughout the campaign?
  • What campaign-related reports are provided, and how often?
  • What’s expected from the client / What does the client need to provide?

4. Know what you need from the publicist.

One of the common issues I have experienced throughout my career as a publicist is consulting with potential clients who need help understanding what a publicist does and the role a publicist plays in helping to build a brand. Before you talk to a publicist, ensure you know what your company is looking for in terms of services and ROI.

This means understanding what a publicist can do to help you reach your goals. Determine what roles the publicist will play within your organization.

Will they only be responsible for media outreach? Or do you need help with social media management as well? You should have an idea of what type of work they specialize in so that you can see if it matches your needs.

5. Ask questions about their process. 

Before you talk to a publicist, be prepared to ask questions about their campaign process. It would help if you asked them how they work and which platforms they use to manage a client’s project or publicity campaign. Be bold and ask about their track record.

You should also ask them if they have any resources or project samples that they can provide to you. Are there articles or blog posts that they’ve written? Do they have access to certain media outlets in your industry? Most publicists have an online portfolio of articles, media clips, and campaign work. 

6. Ask about their media contacts and what publications they will pitch to for your brand.

It would be best to ask the publicist about their media contacts and what publications they will pitch to for your brand. Knowing this will remove any guesswork from you wondering which publications your brand may be featured in. You can also ask how many pitches they send out each day, week, or month. This will give you an idea of how effective their outreach is and whether hiring a publicist for a specific project is worthwhile.

Wrap Up

It’s important to know what you want from a publicist and find one who can deliver the right results for your brand. Before you hire a publicist, you will want to confirm they have the experience and qualifications relevant to your industry. Doing research ahead of time will help ensure you find the right publicist for your brand.

 

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you want to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

 

How to Determine Which Marketing Strategies Work Best for your Small Business

When starting your small business, it can be tempting to try everything at once. But when it comes to marketing your business, doing too many things at once is a waste of time and resources. The key is finding out which marketing strategies work best for you and then focusing your efforts on those channels. In this article, we’ll walk through determining which marketing strategies are most valuable to your small business based on what works best for your company’s goals, mission, and objectives.

Make a list of everything you do in your business to attract customers.

Make a list of everything you do in your business to attract customers. Take note of all the ways you promote your business, interact with customers, track your success, and measure results.

This will help you identify where your marketing efforts are the most effective and which efforts need more work. For example, if you’re using social media but don’t know how well it’s working for you (or if it’s not), that would be worth investigating as an area where more attention is needed.

Look for patterns and gaps in your marketing efforts.

When looking at your business as a whole, you should also look at the big picture of your marketing efforts. Look for patterns and gaps in your marketing efforts. Do you find that customers are only responding to one type of communication? Is there a period of time during which they’re more likely to respond? Are there specific events or seasons that seem to trigger a boost in results? Use these insights when determining how best to continue reaching out to customers in the future.

Look for resources that will help you measure your marketing channels.

To determine which marketing channels are working for you, it’s essential to know what is and isn’t working. When you’re first getting started, set up tools that can help you measure your marketing channels to see how effective they are. Here are some options:

Google Analytics

HubSpot

SurveyMonkey

Qualaroo

Google AdWords (for pay per click campaigns)

Facebook Ads Manager

Assign dollar amounts to each channel based on the results of your research.

To fully understand your marketing ROI, you will also have to assign dollar amounts to each channel based on the results of your research. This will help you determine how much money a particular channel is worth and whether it should be used in the future.

When analyzing each channel’s effectiveness, determine the cost per lead or sale (CPLS). Then, add up all of the costs associated with that particular strategy under one category called “Total Cost.” Finally, divide Total Cost by CPLS to find out what percentage of every dollar spent on that marketing strategy was profitable for your business. If a tactic doesn’t yield positive results within six months or less, stop using it!

Don’t forget to look at customer retention, upsells and cross-sells.

The first thing you should do is analyze the lifetime value of your customers. This will help you determine whether or not a marketing strategy is worth implementing. The lifetime value of a customer (LTV) refers to the total profit generated from one customer over their life with your business. To calculate this, subtract all costs associated with acquiring that customer from their lifetime revenue streams (for example, if you spent $1 on advertising and they spent $3 in product purchases, then their LTV would be $2).

Another way to measure success is by looking at how much it costs to acquire a customer and how much they spend over time. For example: if it costs $4500 per year for each new client but they generate an average income of $5000 per year after purchasing products/services from your company three times in that same year, then it’s probably worth keeping them around!

Summarize your findings with an action plan.

Once you’ve finished your research and analysis, it’s time to make sense of what you found. To begin the process, create an action plan template with the following components:

  • Objectives: A short description of your goals. What do you want to achieve and why?
  • Strategy: Why did you choose this strategy? How will it work toward achieving your objectives?
  • Tactics: What specific steps are included in this strategy? How will they be executed, monitored and measured (if at all)? Which metrics are important to track during implementation — engagement, conversion rate or other metrics?
  • Tasks: The who/what/where/when of each task involved in making this plan happen (e.g., who will be responsible for creating social media posts).

There are many effective marketing channels you can use to promote your small business, but it’s important to know which ones work best for you.

The most effective marketing strategies are the ones that align with your business goals, budget, and time constraints. Social media might be a better option if you want to get more customers through paid advertising but don’t have the funds available. Similarly, if you already have a website that generates steady traffic but want new ways of reaching customers who aren’t finding their way there yet (or haven’t found it yet), then an email newsletter could be just what the doctor ordered!

There are also other factors worth considering before choosing between one channel over another: what kind of customer base do I want? Is my target audience online or offline? How much time do I have available each week/month? These questions should influence which channels or combination of channels make sense for me as well as where else I can spend my precious resources outside of paid advertising opportunities such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads.

If you’re a small business owner, marketing can be a daunting task. You might think there’s not enough money or time to do it all, but don’t worry! The key is to start with some research about what’s working for other companies like yours and where your audience lives online. Once you know that information, then it’s time to put together a plan with goals and milestones so you can measure progress along the way.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you want to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Minority Entrepreneurship: How to Find Resources to Support Growth

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Many minority entrepreneurs have a great idea for a business but don’t know where to find the resources and support they need to make their dream a reality. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best places to find help and advice when starting your own business. We will also talk about how to generate leads for your products or services, and give you some tips on how to grow your business. So if you’re ready to start your own company, read on!

Ways to find resources & support

One of the best places to find resources and support for minority entrepreneurs is online. There are several informative blogs and online resources that offer advice and information on starting your own business, as well as providing a directory of minority-owned businesses. You can also find helpful articles, tips, and advice from other minority entrepreneurs on sites like Medium or Reddit and even on Instagram.

Another great way to find resources and support for your minority business is to connect with other entrepreneurs in your community. There are often meetups or networking events specifically for minority entrepreneurs, where you can share ideas, get feedback, and find potential customers or partners. You can also join online communities such as Facebook groups or LinkedIn groups dedicated to minority entrepreneurship.

Ways to generate leads for your business

If you’re looking for ways to generate leads for your minority business, one of the best places to start is by networking with other businesses in your community. You can attend local business events or meetups, or even connect with businesses online that could potentially complement your target audience. Another great way to generate leads is by offering free consultations or samples of your product or service. Providing samples or trial periods of your product will give potential customers a chance to try out what you have to offer, and if they like it, they may be more likely to buy from you in the future.

Finally, if you want to grow your minority business, one of the best things you can do is invest in marketing and advertising. There are many ways to market your business online and offline, and minority-owned businesses often qualify for special discounts on advertising rates. You can also get involved with minority business organizations or your local chambers of commerce, which can help you connect with other minority-owned businesses and get your name out there. In some communities, resources like Score are available for business owners and entrepreneurs.

Support Resources are Available for Minority Entrepreneurs

Minority entrepreneurship is a growing field with plenty of opportunities for those who are willing to put in the work. While it can be difficult to get started, there are plenty of resources available to minority entrepreneurs if they know where to look. 

With a little bit of effort, anyone can find the advice and support they need to start their own business and begin generating leads for their business. All it takes is some research and networking. By following these tips, you can find the resources and support you need to grow your business today.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Best Small Business Growth Strategies for 2022

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For a variety of reasons, 2021 was a difficult year for small company owners. 2022 gives a fresh opportunity to build your business, whether it was a successful or unsuccessful year for you, or if you’re just getting started. Eight small company growth methods and recommendations are included below to assist you in achieving your objectives.

Create a Successful Business Plan

You should prepare a business strategy if you do not already have one. Writing a business plan pushes you to consider different areas of your company, including your products and services, target clients (more on that later), competitors, and marketing strategy.

A business plan also aids in the formulation of revenue predictions and the setting of firm objectives. Take the time to consider all of these factors and set objectives for the year. It’s time to dust off your old company plan and refresh it with new objectives and predictions.

Boost your Online Visibility

Having an online presence is critical for future success, regardless of whether your firm is thriving offline. The eCommerce business is increasing at a rate of roughly 23% per year, and some experts predict that by 2040, online sales will account for 95% of all purchases.

2022 is the year to have a website for your company if you don’t already have one. A website may assist your firm gain reputation, expand sales capacity (particularly in the future), develop brand recognition, allow you to engage in email marketing, and much more.

Another channel you can’t overlook is social media. 45 percent of social media users said they used the platform to study companies and items, and 67 percent said they bought something they saw advertised on social media. Even concentrating on one or two social media channels where your clients are engaged might help your company grow significantly.

Quality Employees to Attract and Hire

A solid team is one of the most important components of a successful business. Quality and devoted staff may make a huge difference in the success of your small business.

According to the most recent labor data, the United States still has 10.6 million job opportunities and insufficient applicants to fill them. In reality, for every job opportunity, there are just 0.7 jobless people.

Write precise and informative job descriptions to attract great employees by letting applicants know exactly what will be required of them. Then, to make your firm as appealing as – or more appealing than – your rivals, match incentives from other businesses in your field.

This might include a welcome bonus, a hybrid work model, or other perks.

Develop a Positive Company Culture

Businesses have faced large waves of resignations in what has been dubbed “the Great Resignation,” in addition to facing financial difficulties and implementing Covid-19 safety standards.

Developing a strong business culture is one of the greatest methods to retain outstanding personnel. In 2022, make an effort to bring the whole business together for events – as securely as possible – to establish trusting connections via transparency, to have an open-door policy so workers can voice their concerns, and to be as flexible with scheduling as feasible.

Reduce Your Business’s Risks

While running a company does come with risks, having proper business insurance will protect you from serious liability risks. 75 percent of firms, according to one research, are underinsured.

There are many various forms of company insurance to consider, but general liability, workers’ compensation, and commercial property insurance are the three most important.

– Liability in general. General liability insurance protects you and your company in the event that a client, customer, vendor, or other third party is injured on your premises or while using your products and services.

– Workers’ Compensation Insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance is almost mandatory for all employers. It pays for medical expenses and missed earnings when employees are injured on the job or get ill as a result of their work.

– Commercial real estate. Accidental damage, vandalism, or loss of the physical structure and assets are all covered by commercial property insurance.

Make sure you have the correct sort of business insurance and enough coverage so that you and your company are protected in the event of a disaster.

Make a Marketing Investment

Invest in marketing and spread the word about your company to get ahead in these unpredictable times. In 2022, marketing must be a component of your business growth plan, but it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Utilizing social media ads, google ads, regular print advertisements, and other marketing strategies can all be effective ways to make your business known and attract potential customers.

Directing visitors to your website and establishing an email list may also be quite successful if you have one. Make marketing a priority in your budget, regardless of the path(s) you take.

Concentrate on the Correct Customers

Do you know who you’re trying to reach? Do you understand their wants, needs, and passions? If not, you should make this a high priority because you won’t be as successful if you can’t satisfy your clients’ demands.

Making customer/buyer personas is a fantastic method to get started thinking about your consumers’ problems and how to address them.

Are your products and services satisfying the requirements, wants, and interests of your target customers? Make contact with your current consumers and solicit feedback. They’re the ideal individuals to inform you how you’re doing and even provide you advice on how to better.

Make Customer Service a Top Priority

This may come as no surprise, but customer service must be prioritized in order to expand your business in 2022. If you don’t provide better service than your competition, your clients will move elsewhere.

When customers’ concerns are promptly addressed and their problems are rapidly resolved, they feel appreciated. Always go above and above to assist your clients, and make sure your employees are well-trained to deliver the finest possible service. Also, it is a good idea to get a business phone number.

Don’t forget to request reviews and testimonials, as 88 percent of purchasers trust internet reviews as much as personal recommendations.

Keetria is an entrepreneur, wellness advocate, and brand strategy coach for creatives & entrepreneurs with 16 years of public relations expertise working with some of the world’s leading brands, startups, media personalities, and entertainers. If you would like to work together, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Ways to Grow Your Small Business with Your Friends

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Growing a business is hard work on your own, and that’s why you hire employees to help. It’s often, though, that businesses in their early stages are generated from a lot of pro bono help and nourishment. Entrepreneurs often get their friends and family to help volunteer for advertising, product making and other tasks that need to be handled when there’s not enough money to pay yourself, let alone an actual workforce.

Your family might be an easier sell, but your friends could use some warming up to. Some friends will jump at the chance to help, but you can’t blame someone for wanting something a little more. There’s an art to convincing your friends to go in with you on a business venture, even if it’s just in the capacity of handing out fliers.

Work the Tit for Tat Angle

Not many people are willing to give something away for free. In this exchange model, your friends are giving away their time for you. What are you going to offer them in return?

Whenever your friends help you out, give them something in exchange. It can be free product, a future cut, or even something more creative, like naming a future product or service after them. When you give someone an incentive to help, they’re more likely to do so.

Make it Fun

Sometimes all you need to do to entice someone to help you with your business is give the activity a competitive edge. Get your friends to all try and refer people to your business. Whoever gets the largest number of referrals wins free product, and everyone gets to have a night of drinks to celebrate the success.

Word of Mouth

One area of marketing that people don’t focus enough on in this digital age is the power of the word of mouth advertisement. Your friends have friends, and that’s something you can use.

Tell your closest friends about your business venture, and all you ask of them is to tell their friends. This kind of pyramid, trickle down advertising is how early grassroots movements got started, and the same can be said for your new small business.

Capitalize On Togetherness

Being with your friends is a fun experience in and of itself. When you want to do something for your business, involve your friends not only to help you work, but also to have something to do together. People are often happy to organize fundraisers, make product and commit to other business activities if that’s what they think of it as – an activity.

Ask for Advice and Opinions

When you have friends, you have the perfect opportunity for case studies and beta testing free of charge. For instance, say you have an ad campaign you want to start running. Shoot it by real people you know first before taking it out of the family to market to others. Ask for their real opinions. They may be more likely to be frank with you than a stranger.