In business we want to have a point of difference, stand out from the crowd, that special something which will have people buying from us rather than our competition. And we may have that special product, the super piece of service which makes us stand out, but in the bigger scheme of things, are we more alike our competition than we think? Are we practicing a herd behaviour which is making it actually harder to stand out and make ourselves shine above the rest?
My book for this month is ‘Nudge’, written by Thaler and Sunstein. I have only just scratched the surface but it already has those creative juices in me swirling and whirling.
I network with small businesses, sole traders and the like. Being one myself I can understand that budgets are tight and if you’re going to spend money, it had better come back to you with interest. What I have noticed is, at this level of business, not many people are engaged in marketing. Or more to the point they are not engaged in Content Marketing. Many of these small businesses do not have a blog or a social media presence, and many of them do not even have a newsletter. They don’t really engage with their customer base.
Reading through Nudge I think I may discovered a reason why.
Action in accord with prevailing social standards, attitudes, practices,etc.
It can be scary to go out on your own and try something, to step out of your comfort zone, to try something risky, especially if no one else is, and they seem fine.
And yet it is out there, beyond the bubble of your own warmth and safety where the real growth is.
Part of conformity is not wanting to stand in the spotlight. Everyone will be looking at you and hoping you fail, wanting you to fail. Or at least that is what we tell ourselves.
And it is this mentality, I think, which is stopping a lot of the smaller businesses from venturing into the realm of Content Marketing. But why?
There are some things to keep in mind when thinking of content marketing:
- It can take 6 – 12 months for a content marketing plan to really kick in and get you results.
- Blogs alone will not be the ONE THING that wins over customers
- You need to have a variety of calls to action, not just- call us.
- Facebook advertising is great, but where are you SENDING your potential customers?
A client’s marketing muscle was simply thinking- call me call me call me. And as they told me- no one else is blogging, why should we? If they’re not doing it, it must mean it doesn’t work.
It wasn’t until I read about conformity in Nudge that it finally clicked. I thought- do small businesses think they are ONLY small businesses? By this I mean do they only look at their competition on their level and ignore the bigger fish in the same pond?
I can understand if you own a small corner store you could not possibly compete with Coles and Woolworths, but you can do things which the big players do. You can use social media to market yourself. You can have a subscription service, member’s only specials, things which only the Big Players have.
And the same goes for the regular sole-trader or small business owner. The Big Companies have a marketing department where all these minions pump out content and sit all day on social media. That is not actually true, but you too can have a content marketing plan and educate your loyal customers, and grow your customer base. It does not take a lot of effort, or a lot of content. But it does need to be consistent, and you do need to be patient.
And you have to have something of value to offer.
Don’t be afraid to take a chance, to experiment with different kinds of content. Don’t ever think you have nothing to say. Never think you do not have the time to do all this. I know a guy who can give you content, letting you keep your valuable time for your business.
If you feel like stepping out of the crowd, of doing something not many other people are doing, send me an email and we can work a plan together. Monthly packages can help you form a budget which helps with your annual marketing.
Plus a new retainer model can allow you to have a variety of written content per month, so you don’t feel tied down to just blogs, or just emails.
Email – email@example.com and let’s get you out of your comfort zone and into the spotlight. Be a leader, be the one who takes the risk and gets that early worm.