5 Marketing Skills All Small Business Owners Need

Obviously, if you’re in business, you need leads. It doesn’t matter if things are going amazing, or if they’re a little slow, leads help you make sure you are growing. That means you need to do some marketing, so you’ll need to know the most important parts of the job.

Most People Don’t Know What They Don’t Know

In most areas of life, let alone the specifics of marketing, most people have no idea what they don’t know. Think about it. If you had 30 minutes with a guy like Gary Vaynerchuck or Sir Richard Branson, would you even know what questions to ask?

I know I would struggle.

But that’s the key, isn’t it? Most of the time, in the digital age, if we don’t know something it’s because we don’t know we’re supposed to. At the very minimum, it’s because it’s just not something we’ve ever heard of. Hence the reason for this post.

This Article Will Not Make You A Marketing Professional

This should be painfully obvious, but I’m going to state it for posterity. These 5 basics are not going to turn you in to the next marketing guru. They are just the essentials – the things you need to make sure you get noticed.

I’m also going to make sure you have enough information that it will be tough to take advantage of you. In the spirit of brevity, I’m only going to be able to give you enough information to catch on to outright bullshit, but it will be a great foundation to build your pool of knowledge on.

The Marketing Basics For Small Business Owners

What exactly should you know? Marketing is one of those things that has so many nuances and methods that it’s almost impossible to learn it all when you’re busy running a company (unless it’s a marketing company). We’ve put together a list of the 5 basics you’ve got to understand if you ever want to drive your business forward.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of those topics that’s filled with a ton of misinformation and false promises. It’s also one of the most important things to make sure you’ve got handled correctly. That means educating yourself on the topic is critical.

Thankfully, you don’t need to be any kind of an SEO guru. You just need to know enough of the basics to know what’s truth and what’s not. Learn which activities work, which are a waste of time, and which do more harm than help. That way you’ll know if your SEO person is taking you for a ride.

Social Media Marketing

If you’ve been on the web recently, you’re aware that social media is everywhere. There are more networks to connect on than any one person can handle. From Facebook to Twitter, Snapchat to Instagram, and every other network that pops up, it’s clear that social media is a part of the way the world works.

That’s both good news and slightly daunting information.

What’s most important for you to learn is much simpler. Which social networks are right for your business? Which ones do your target audience spend the most time on? What kind of content works best on that network? Remember, social media is about conversation. Find out where your target market is talking, then join in!

Email Marketing

For years email has been the best way to improve your customer intake, sales, and overall revenue. But in many people’s minds, email is dead. Unfortunately for them, and fortunately for you, it’s not. It’s not just alive and well, but doing better than ever.

The most important thing to remember about email marketing is that it’s a long-term game plan. Constant communication with your target audience is extremely important, and always give them a reason to take an action from the email. Remember, you can’t send too many emails.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a broad topic, which makes it difficult to narrow down to a set of “tips to remember”. Content marketing encompasses social media, email, and some of the SEO strategies, as well as blogging and the creation of digital downloads (like eBooks).

What you need to know most about content marketing is how to build your overall strategy. Without a complete idea of what you’re going to be creating and what path you want it to send your prospective clients down, you’ll wind up wasting a lot of time and effort for little to no return.

Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is the most important form of marketing any small business owner could be doing. Though it comes in many forms, referral marketing simplified is asking every client for referrals. That’s it. What can I really teach you about that?

Do you have a process for asking for referrals? Or are you, like many business owners, too shy to ask because you feel like you sound pushy or desperate? Referrals should be expected from every client, and you need to have a process in place for asking. Always ask at every interaction, unless you’re handing your customer their bill.

Seriously. Ask ask ask ask ask ask ask.

Knowing The Basics Of Marketing Puts The Odds In Your Favor

By taking the time to learn the most important parts of marketing, you’ve empowered all your efforts. Now, even if you hire out, you’ll have an idea of what the services should look like so you know if things are going well or not.

Best of all, when you’re made to get involved, you’ll have a grasp on what should be done to succeed and grow.

About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.