October 18th, 2008
by Lorrie Thomas
My work as a marketing therapist allows me to work with a multitude of small business owners and solo-entrepreneurs. Working with so many business owners allows me to observe patterns – good, bad and ugly.
There is a frequent marketing-phobia pattern that plagues small business folks – some just can’t overcome thinking small when it comes to marketing. This is a dangerous mental-block that can hold professionals back from being truly successful and worse, devastate their financial success (remember, your competition is only a click or two away!!).
Thinking small includes not having the right marketing collateral, only going with cheap vendors (and getting crap results) doing the bare minimum, and not owning that the web can blow a business out of the water if it’s used strategically.
I can’t tell you how many professional experts have been on my marketing couch that are a wealth of information but are unwilling (which usually translates to being insecure) about using web marketing (blogs, podcasts, their website) to promote their intellect online or with public relations. I get a lot of “Well, I am sure there are bigger people out there than me” or “But I’m just a small business owner, nobody wants my opinion”
This is the era of Web 2.0, the power of mass collaboration and connection! Web users crave information from people they trust. In the US, blogs have increasing influence on purchasing decisions. People trust bloggers because they are “people like me”. We are in the era of “pro”sumers where internet users trust more family and peers’ opinion than any other source of information. In the US, blogs have increasing influence on purchasing decisions. Internet users trust more family and peers’ opinion than any other source of information and the younger generation (gen Y) uses social media very frequently in comparison to other generations. As a result, and in order to reach gen Y, businesses (large and small!!) are starting to use social networking to market to their customers.
Small business owners, just because you are small does not mean that your marketing needs to be small. Get over that misconception – let your competition be insecure about owning their success, leave them in the dust and embrace the web to showcase the power of what you do and to tap your target audience (local, national, international!)
“Believe you can, believe you can’t, either way you’ll be right…”