New York Times best selling author and fashion forward comedian turned television personality, Steve Harvey, recently had a small business owner and the creator of “The Slob-Proof Paint Pen” on his daytime talk show.
Highlighted in the “mystery millionaire” portion of the program Debbie Wiener, mom and millionaire, fired off a few marketing tips to another small business owner in efforts to help them grow their company.
It’s the kind of advice that could make a big difference in establishing any small business brand. Below are two of her suggestions.
Add A Tagline
When potential customers visit your website or see the packaging for your product, it should be easy to figure out the core benefit of what you’re offering. They shouldn’t have to guess or take a long time digging through your content in order to discover what you can do for them. Let your visitors know up front with a tagline.
In offering a little friendly advice to another small business owner Wiener said:
“If I saw your product for the first time by itself, I wouldn’t know what it was.”
That’s the key for all of us: make it easy for your future clients to understand what you’re offering without having to talk to you. The tool that helps you make your message simple and clear up front is the tagline. You may want to check out The Artist and The Message — 6 Steps To A Better Tagline to help update yours.
Think Globally, Act Locally
Even though you may take full advantage of the fact that the internet makes it easier to reach the world, always start where you are. The first steps to marketing your small business are often taken in your own back yard.
Yes. Set up your website, so that you can reach the world. Put scalable systems in place, so that your company is ready to grow. But when it comes to publicity, Wiener suggests that you:
“Think globally, but tell your story locally. Newspaper journalists love “that local woman does good story.”
If you’ve never done it before, why not write your first press release this week. And then circulate it to the newspapers in your area. If they cover the story, then add the press clip (the article they published) to your website.
Plus you can turn around — with new confidence — update your press release and then submit it to the local television and radio stations in the area. Keep in mind, journalists are looking for news, not an ad. Your release needs to have the tone of “this is interesting local information” instead of “buy my product now.” Janet Meiners Thaeler offers Five Killer Press Release Tips for Small Businesses, in an earlier article.
Marketing is a process, you don’t have to do everything at once. But you do need to do something every month.
Millionaire Photo via Shutterstock
Thanks for sharing Jamillah.
Starting locally does indeed give brands the juice and confidence that will help it extend its reach online. Earning testimonals and recommendations will help scale online where trust is a big factor.
Hi Mike, I like how you put it
“Starting locally does indeed give brands the juice and confidence…”
When it comes to brands and business confidence is almost everything!
Great article. Slob proof paint pen? I’m still chuckling at that.
I know — it gets me every time too.
Seems like Debbie Wiener knows how to generate attention. I was at the local Home Depot trying to hunt a Slob Proof Paint Pen down…not in Georgia yet.
This is so true. You should not make the ‘internet’ everything. You need to focus on those around you too. ‘Think globally. Act locally’. Marketing is very simple and easy, if your idea is great, find your target market, focus on them, win them over and Gbam! That is it. They would win their friends over and the friends in turn do likewise and the cycle continues. And this can also be possible when you make your business ‘user friendly’ every body is busy. Nobody has time to ask questions. When they stumble on your website. Let them know instantly what you DO! Great piece. By the writer of this post. I would love to interview you for my blog someday. You may follow me on Twitter: @ayamtheone to get start up tips
Found you on twitter and following. Thanks Sadiq!
There’s something to that tagline thing, Jamillah. My husband was in Founders’ Institute and they encouraged students to come up with (I forget what the name was) a convention that compared a relatively complicated product to something that people got. Like “it’s like Netflix for books.” Simple.
I agree. It takes extra strategy time, but then you end up with a simple message that carries well.
If you remember that term, please share.
Properly using taglines sure ring a bell! These days, it is so common for marketers to use a lot of taglines for their business. The problem here is that the taglines used either don’t represent the business, or are poorly chosen for the intended market.
So true. The phrase does have to fit the product or it’s a waste. Like you I see a lot of items with clever phrases that ultimately mean nothing. Unfortunately, I also see quite a few with NO short description at all.
Short and sweet to satisfy the modern attention span.
I love the freedom of choice. Whereas, some decide to market either locally or globally without combining both; I generally fall in with the group that choose to market on both fronts.
I love having the option too.
The internet makes reaching the world possible on any budget, as long as you tackle any potential shipping issues — Of course, that’s only a concern for product based businesses.
Great tips. These will definitely be helpful for small businesses and leveraging their marketing efforts. Thanks for sharing.