February 10

Small Business Marketing DIY Idea

Marketing

31  comments

I’d love to get your thoughts on this idea. Watch the short 5-minute video I just shot in my garden.

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’1′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’1′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isqp_QOeWtQ[/responsive_video]


In the post-“Web Design is Dead” world, most businesses should never pay huge sums for “Big Bang” website projects.

One critical reason is that the true success of a marketing campaign is rarely designed at the beginning. It is more often figured out interactively over time. A “Big Bang” design or redesign is logically guaranteed to deliver a sub-optimal product.

Success comes from on-going optimization and adaptation… keyword research, content production, experimenting with traffic channels, testing lead-generation techniques, split-testing sales messages, etc.

That’s why the ideal model for businesses and for service providers is going to be Web Pro v2

…at least for larger businesses!

Clearly, Web Pro v2 does not scale that well for small businesses. If a business is turning over a modest amount, target-based or profit-share compensation models will not be interesting for good marketers, who can get greater results faster for clients who have bigger turnovers.

So what do smaller businesses need?

I’m convinced that the answer is for most of us small business owners to do our own online marketing, with some affordable assistance from professionals.

  • I might give you an hour’s strategic consulting that could save you months of wasted effort.
  • For example, if a web pro can get a WordPress site up and running in an hour, there’s no point you spending several days trying to figure it out only to do it once.
  • However, for those tasks that you can do effectively on a regular basis, you should be empowered to do them for yourself, without having to rely on a paid professional! (e.g. social media marketing, content production, SEO, etc.)

So I think we need the right combination of specific skills and strategic guidance, in order to deliver a situation that’s predictably profitable for all small businesses!

Fortunately, the good news is that we have a great selection of tools that we can use to promote our own businesses and trade online (including WordPress, Shopify, Etsy, eBay, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) These are either cheap or free, and often very accessible and easy to use.

YES — You can do your own online marketing today, without investing half your time learning new skills!

However, there’s a flip side, which is that this ever-expanding range of possible tools can be overwhelming.

So how does a small business actually manage the process of executing its own online marketing, in a way that genuinely saves money without eating up too much time?

That’s the problem I’m proposing to address with a new stream in “Web Design from Scratch Premium”, and I would love to get your feedback…

What are YOUR biggest challenges, questions, or fears when it comes to doing your own marketing?

Do you think a “Small Business Marketing DIY” course sounds like a good idea? Please add your comments below.

About the author 

Ben Hunt

My job is to look at the world and wonder... "How can we make things better?"

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  1. Hi Ben. I think that would be an interesting topic to explore as it is often the case that small business feel the need to market themselves online but have no idea where to start or what to focus on or how to measure success/failure and adjust what they are doing.

  2. Ben:
    My take is that if you could “dumb down” your knowledge/expertise so that it can be understood and then implemented by small business owners, you would potentially reach/impact millions vs. the numbers you likely now have.

    The key would be a “paint by the numbers” system and affordable.

    Also, it would be ideal then to offer an affiliate program for people like me who have hundreds of buyers many of whom would be interested in your approach.

    Maybe something like….Through the mist of marketing your life’s work(given you’re in England where there’s more mist than in most other places)

    Hope this helps…

    Best,
    John Iams
    FreeFromPainToday.com
    P.S. also would be ideal to include how to tweek one’s website given all the animals Google has come out with…Panda, etc.

    1. Great to hear, thanks for the feedback John. That’s exactly the area I’m looking into. Could even include a WordPress package, some highly targeted services, coaching, and different levels of support. Very interesting times!

  3. Hi Ben,

    I am a newbie entrepreneur and most definitely want to do my own online marketing. You are right that when a business is just getting off the ground, there’s no budget for hiring pros.

    I am still in the product development phase. When I am further along with that, I will be doing much marketing work myself and/or with inexpensive employees who will require much training to get up to speed.

    Despite my business education and sales and marketing experience, I find I have much to learn. I spent the last decade being a stay-at-home mom and I have so much to catch up on. Content marketing and social marketing were virtually non-existent at that time.

    BTW, thank you for recommending Thrive Themes. I bought a membership and am thrilled with their products and the team. Great recommendation!

    1. Great to hear, thank you Chantal. Just thinking out loud, if you could get some kind of monthly support from a small team, would that be a help? Get guidance on any aspect of marketing, from the strategic to the technical, maybe in a small group?

      1. Yes, it would certainly be helpful. When we are further along with our product development, I would definitely be interested in something like this. I love to learn and am very resourceful. However, I’d love to have some knowledgeable experts I could consult to make sure I am on track and/or offer suggestions for improvement.

  4. Hi Ben.

    None of the clients I work with are interested in doing their own marketing. Many of them don’t want to be involved at all, which is sad. I prefer to work with those that take ownership and actually help providers develop the best marketing plan. The reason that SBO’s aren’t interested is because they’re too busy running the operations side of things. Now there may be a few things they’re interested in doing, and can manage to keep up with which is great. I think your offering should have 2 audiences: the SBO, arming them with the resources to learn what they want along with a method to determine what tasks to take on, and a framework for dealing with marketing providers. Your second audience is the consultant who can work with the SBO to figure out what tasks should be completed by each and a framework for the consulting side of things. I work almost exclusively with bricks ‘n’ mortar and when left to their own devices, their marketing simply doesn’t get done.

    1. Interesting perspective, thanks Aaron.

      Of course, in any population you’ll get people who are at the DIY level (i.e. more time than money, happy to practise) through the DWY (“done with you” i.e. show me the ropes and let me try it) all the way up to DFY (“do it for me”). It may be that your own marketing attracts the DFY crowd.

      It’s certainly evident that a segment of SBOs has always done DIY marketing. This has got me thinking how we can serve them all.

      1. I have to agree with Aaron. I also work with a lot of SBOs who run brick and mortar companies.

        Companies that are online only or who have more web savvy owners seem to be more comfortable with website marketing. Most SBOs want to give up that “online marketing crap” (as one owner told me) to a web professional (usually a traditional web designer or SEO service) to handle.

        As for them doing any DIY marketing is like ,”Horse met Water, please drink!”

  5. Hi Ben:
    Lovely video. I mean the photo/film aspect of it. I enjoyed watching it even if you are a bloke.

    A) MY BIGGEST FEAR IS CHOOSING A LOUSY NICHE THAT IS NOT CONGRUENT WITH MY
    BACKGROUND AND/OR IS NOT COMMERCIALLY VIABLE/LACKS GRAVITAS…..

    B) Yes, however, shouldn’t it be a 2 track course? Track 1 for those who already have a business set up on the net that you can evaluate and track 2: a course for those that need niche sculpting + BM selection?

    I recently bought this course for USD 15 called ‘Tiny Little Video Machines’. Its great, far better than many courses I’ve paid much more for in areas like niche marketing or CPA.

    TVLM is about how to set up cheap membership sites. I’ve never had confidence in setting up anything recurring but you have.
    The thing is: I need to have confidence that my membership niche will be worthwhile enough for people to stick with it.
    In other words, I need premium content in a viable niche.
    Now if we think about it PageCloud is a breakthrough product/service. I can understand why people would keep paying for it month after month. To me this is a membership site/subscription BM.
    I am deep into cryptocurrencies, blockchains, peer to peer computing, smart contracts and interested in coding but do not want to become a coder for hire.
    Best,
    Harold

    1. Hmm, sounds like you’re an outlier among entrepreneurs, Harold, being in a highly technical area.

      Are you considering product development/sales or just information products?

      (I have a project codenamed “Genius” that’s bubbling away in the background, may become a book later in 2016, and that’s all about finding your THING.. That area where you love to plant yourself, love to research, and where you can speak with authority. Sadly I can’t say when that will be ready to show.)

  6. Hi Ben
    Perhaps segmenting businesses and providing a type of cheat sheet for each kind of business, focusing on their particular market audience. Then build upon this once they have set everything up so it’s ongoing promotional ideas/tactics to keep and build their customer base online.

  7. Hi Ben,

    I think you’re on a great path. I’ve been trying to learn the “best practices” for creating a website that converts for many years now. I actually started with your Save the Pixel book a while ago, and I’ve continued studying courses from a handful of web and SEO teachers since then.

    While creating the website for my company’s online corporate communication skills courses, I’ve been mulling over a plan to create a side business that helps other small business owners like me that need to build our own websites, then build an audience of fans that ultimately buy our products and/or services.

    Something like, The Small Business Web Kit.

    It would start with a DIY online course, or a few of them. Then additional custom services would be offered to small businesses that want personal help. The course would need to be very simple for non-technical business owners.

    I’d like to be involved in your venture if you move it forward…

    Best,
    Dan

    1. Hey Dan, always great to hear from you. I can see several options for offering service/product packages to small businesses coming out of this, going through the Stack.

      Maybe I’ll get a group together in the next few weeks to discuss what we can offer.

  8. Hi Ben,
    As a sole practicing professional, I desperately need a Marketing plan that is congruent with my business. The only plan I have a one cobbled together from a range of online sources/gurus/true experts/bright shiny objects. I’ve wasted huge amounts of money and time. I would be very interested in what you have to offer.

    1. Hi Stephanie. That’s actually great to hear, because I’m now hatching another idea (one which encapsulates almost EVERYTHING I’ve done over the past several years). I will be looking for people to test it out on. Please drop me an email and we’ll discuss it.

  9. Hi Ben,

    I’m a long-time follower of Perry Marshall. I’m also a big fan of the 80/20 Principle.

    To me it makes sense even for small business owners to outsource their website design. Instead of learning HTML, CSS, etc., they should be focusing on running their business and hire the most expensive person they can afford to do their website right (and all other marketing too).

    Regards,

    George

    P.S. We connected on Facebook a few weeks ago. I’m a big fan of your conversion optimization approach.

    1. Thanks George. I agree, in part. The fact is, publishing a website is a quick and cheap process right now, and it makes sense for a skilled person to do it in most cases.

      But “web design” — the ongoing process of making a website or marketing campaign successful — is less about the ability to put stuff online than it is to choose what content to create, and how to present it optimally.

      For some SBOs, who have more money and less time/desire to learn, they will prefer to outsource.

      Others, who have less money and more time/desire to learn, will prefer to do more of it themselves. And they *can* do it themselves. Yes, there are skills to learn, but they’re not difficult to learn.

      1. Hi Ben,

        I would say, not only time/money/ desire matters but also a uniqueness of some products/target audiences where the owner already spent lots of time to go deep into, and where it is unlikely a hired marketer would go so deep.

  10. Ben,

    There is definitely a need out there as you expressed for business owners helping them decide which platforms to focus on. Of course, most of it is just ignoring the hype and experimenting with a few channels and going with 2 or 3 where you get traction. Many business owners think they need to know all the channels like blab, periscope, etc. The truth is many people are still making money with not-so-sexy channels like craigslist, ebay, or amazon.

    So a product or consulting package that took into account the SBO’s current skill set, their industry, their product, their communication preferences, etc. and helped them narrow down their options to the platforms that would be best for their situation would be something in my opinion people would pay for.

    From there you teach them how to use those platforms to avoid high recurring fees from professionals. You may or may not be the person that consults on a particular platform but can direct them to an expert that can train them.

    Just brainstorming…

    Anyway, enjoyed the video. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks Dene. I think you’re absolutely right. And now this has grown into another idea.. Revising a project I’ve wanted to do for years, which is to provide a large-scale, affordable marketing service package for SBOs. Watch this space!

  11. I think it’s a great idea. For me and many other small business owners, consultants, the overwhelm factor is pretty high, so cutting though all that is always the issue. Their is an opportunity here for sure. Discernment about what you should be focusing on seems vitally important, along with creating strategies that work and feel aligned with core values. If it improves my happiness exchange rate, I will invest in something, as down the line, the improvements touch and influence every other aspect of life.

    1. Absolutely. I think Dene is saying the same thing. You’ll never succeed in marketing or business if you attempt to try every possible tool, technique, or theory. We *must* discern intelligently what fits our particular business, and that of course starts with getting crystal clear about what the heck your business really IS.

  12. Hi Ben
    thought provoking video!
    we have v small business turnover last year £22k but growing.
    We only want to sell locally ie around Matlock, the whole concept is “local veg” for “local people” sold via local market and vegbox scheme.
    We have a wordpress based website which I can update etc.
    We need help with graphic design need our logo updating etc.
    Need to get paypal shopping trolley page working slickly and the buttons to look better!

    Also need to know how to market to very “local” audience.
    We wouldn’t have got this far without your help in the past!
    Jenny

    1. Hi Jenny. That’s great, I’ll add Peak Organics into my thinking. This is now growing into a more comprehensive service, which I’ll polish a bit and then probably announce next week.

  13. Hi Ben,

    Your idea sounds really good. I Think as well that the right combination of an skilled consultant plus a good amount of hard work is the best way to acomplish any succefull proyect.

    Thanks a lot for your support!

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