In January we often come up with big goals for our small businesses, like growing our social media accounts, starting a newsletter or even going viral on TikTok.
But after a few days our motivation drops and it gets harder and harder to convince ourselves to do the work that's needed to market our businesses.
It might only take 10 minutes but small steps every day can lead to big results!
Here are my first 15 for you to get stuck into.
Tip 1. While you’re sitting watching Netflix and drinking your tea today, think about your aims for your marketing this year. You might want to post more consistently, be better at planning, reach a certain number (followers, readers, views) or even shift the focus from social media and move onto something else completely.
Get an idea in your mind of what you want promoting your business to look and feel like in 2021. Write it down somewhere you’ll see it, it could be near your desk or on your phone and let me know too!
Tip 2. I’ve made a note on my phone, a page in my journal and a Google Doc just for IDEAS. Whenever I think of an idea for a client, a social media post or a topic for a blog I write it in my IDEAS folder for later. It might be a word or a sentence or even the rough start of a full post, but it stops it leaving my brain forever and never working on it.
If you’re sitting there reading this with your cup of tea then quickly set up a note on your phone for ideas. Every time a client mentions a problem or you hear something that sparks an idea for a post, pop it in here. Bonus points if you’ve got some to add to it today!
Tip 3. When you’re thinking about PR for your business I find it helps me to start at the beginning, where do you want to be featured? In my first year of HI Communications I wanted to have an article published in the Huffington Post, so I focused on getting in there. Last year my house renovation story was in Fabulous online and Women’s Own which helped me get more people reading my blog and Instagram account.
Today’s #TeaBreakTip is to make a list of the places you want your business to be featured and aim high! It could be your local newspaper, favourite radio station, a magazine for your industry or a publication that you know your target audience loves to read. Put the kettle on, start writing your list and tell me where you want to see your business!
Tip 4. First check your website and social media accounts are still there (if they’ve gone, stop the 10 minute timer because we’re going to be here awhile!) Remove anything unrelated like banners, posting dates, opening times and Christmas offers. If you’re ready to change them for January then go for it, but if not just take them down for now. Make sure everything is accurate and ready for a new year.
Tip 5. This evening while you’ve got a nice cup of tea in hand, have a look at your Instagram story highlights and see if you can update them. You might want to add some info about you, your website, new opening times or new products coming in. Have a look at your archive and see what you could add and of course make sure it all matches your branding too!
Tip 6. Plenty of businesses think blogging is tons of work, endless writing and for what? Just a piece of text on your website. But there are so many benefits! Firstly it’s brilliant for helping you get to the top of Google, especially if you spend time thinking about what your target audience want to read. It also helps to show you as an expert in your industry, so make sure you add your own views and opinions.
It gives you links to share on Pinterest which helps you bring even more people over to your website. Last but not least, it helps us get to know you, your personality and style of writing! Your #TeaBreakTip for today is to write a blog! But instead of starting from scratch, find an old post that did well that you can update and add to. This should be fun and easy, it doesn’t have to be thousands of words. Have a go this week and let me know how you get on!
Tip 7. Do you have business cards? Or leaflets? Flyers? Loyalty cards? Posters? Receipts? Postcards? Gather up all your marketing materials and check they are still accurate. You might have rebranded, changed your phone number or updated your Instagram handle, there are lots of things that could have changed in your business since you first created them. Make sure they are all up to date ready to get back to business soon (hopefully!)
Tip 8. Your #TeaBreakTip for today is to start planning a newsletter. I know it will take more than 10 minutes to do so just start planning what topics you’d cover and how you’d say it. There will always be things stopping us but if we can make a tiny step forward we’ll probably find they aren’t as scary as they are in our head!
Tip 9. This challenge is all about taking small 10 minute steps to improve your marketing, but what happens if all your marketing is amazing, your customer gets to your website and then *ahhh* it doesn’t work and they can’t make a purchase?! Unless there’s someone kind who can tell you, you might never know.
My tip today is to ask a nice but honest friend to go through all the steps to make a purchase on your website and give you some feedback. What works well, what could be easier, buttons and links that don’t lead anywhere. Make a big list of priorities and work through them over the next week to get your website ready for the rest of 2021!
Tip 10. Restarting my newsletter reminded me of something important for today’s #TeaBreakTip! Check that all of your newsletter sign up forms are working and GDPR compliant too. If you haven’t set up your newsletter yet put a sign up form on your website and start collecting those emails! It will give you a ready made audience for when you start sending them out.
Tip 11. Finishing off some websites gave me the idea today’s #TeaBreakTip because SEO is something that (rightfully so) usually comes up. But rather than rush in and throw everything at it, let’s start from the beginning and research some keywords.
There is sooo much free SEO help online but it all comes down to thinking about your customers. Remember that the way customers describe what you do might be totally different to how you would. So how are they finding you online? Keep in mind these keywords and start building on them!
Tip 12. Today’s #TeaBreakTip is to chat over your ideas with someone you trust. It could be your friend, an expert, your family, me! But get your thoughts out of your head and find a different point of view. I promise you it will help, if only to think ‘well there’s no way I’m doing it like that....’
Tip 13. Pick some of the hashtags you use regularly and take a look at the top posts. What are people sharing? What topics are they talking about that you have an opinion on too? This is absolutely not permission to copy, if you’re inspired by someone else then credit them in the post! But by looking at the TOP posts you can see what’s doing well and how you add something new for your own business!
Tip 14. If you’ve got some time in your day then here’s a challenge, take 5 new pictures for your Facebook or Instagram. They might not be used, but start getting in the habit of documenting parts of your day.
Taking photos is something I always procrastinate on because I worry they need to be taken on the camera, set up perfectly and edited before I can post them. But the truth is your phone works just as well and I’m a firm believer in keeping things simple and not putting barriers in your way. If it’s stopping you posting, it isn’t working!
Tip 15. A lot of my clients have been too nervous to try, but you CAN make your own graphics for social media. Share your news, quotes, memes, testimonials, anything you can think of in a simple branded graphic for your business. We use Illustrator but you could use Canva which is easy to get the hang of and I’m sure there are loads of others out there to try.
If you do struggle with getting started you can also buy templates or ask a designer to create some templates for you to use. Play around until you are happy and have some fun with it. If in doubt, you can always outsource!
There's my top 15 Tea Break Tips for today! If you'd like some extra social media help download my Be Your Own Social Media Manager eBook here.