I recently spoke with Anita Campbell of SmallBizTrends.com and BizSugar.com and David Langton of Langton Cherubino Group — the co-authors of ”Visual Marketing: 99 Proven Ways for Small Businesses to Market with Images and Design.” If you’d like to listen to the interview, you can find it here on BlogTalkRadio.com. When I began my career in [...]
Locally-based businesses (as opposed to multi-national corporations) are the life blood of any community. And people are beginning to understand the importance of nurturing local economies. But there are still a few hold outs.
While it is clearly to our collective benefit to support local businesses, many people still patronize national chains. And the reasons don’t all have to do with pricing.
If you are a small, locally-owned business trying to compete with the big guys, you might want to consider the following parable.
Except for my client Rebecca Joseph (aka The Rabbi Chef), your goal is probably not to be the Next Food Network Star.
But there’s a whole lot that celebrity chefs can teach us about working in a crowded marketplace. The successful ones truly excel at building their brands and growing their fan base. How do they do it? Here are five of their marketing strategies that you can (and should) adopt today:
When I meet with a potential client, one of the questions I usually ask is, “What does your sales funnel look like?” The blank stares and nervous coughing I get in response would almost be funny. Except when I try to ask it another way, and I can still hear crickets. “Okay, then tell me about your sales process — how do you get and nurture your leads?”
When I was still a youngster (in the days before the Internet was considered a valid way to get your message out), I spent my nights and weekends at the UC Davis Extension learning the “official” rules of “Product-Price-Place-Promotion.”
One of my first professors (I think his name was Mr. Aguilar) had a strange attachment to the term “pasta marketing.” He must’ve used this term at least twice in every class. His point was that lots of people do their marketing like they cook their pasta: they throw it against the wall to see if it’s done. If it sticks, they think it’s good. And if doesn’t, well…you go back to the drawing board.
When you’re a solopreneur or the owner of a very small business, it can seem almost impossible to find the time to get it all done. There is, after all, actual work that needs to be finished, or you won’t be getting paid. I get it. I’m in the same boat.
The important thing to remember though, is that every little bit helps. Baby steps are crucial. They move you forward and build good habits. Habits that can ultimately bring you all the customers you can handle.
Here in the West, purple carrots aren’t a commonly found in your local produce departments. In fact, you’ll probably have to go out of your way, by searching for them at the fringes: places like your farmer’s market or a specialty grocer.
There’s a little vegetable stand near my house where I can find maybe 3 or 4 at any given time (mostly because there’s a woman who comes in every morning and buys nearly all of them for herself). The shop owner literally can’t keep enough of these guys on hand.
In short, these guys are special. Remarkable even. And they’re almost certainly a topic of conversation when served to dinner guests. They’re so special, they make the chef look special, too.