As a small business owner, are you overwhelmed with all the duties that take you away from doing what it is that you are in business to do...and that is to provide the best possible service or product to your customers? Why was it that you decided to run your own business in the first place? Did you even think that marketing would be a key part of your responsibilities when you first became an entrepreneur?
According to New York Times best selling author, Neil Patel, "There used to be a time where you could open up a local business in town and turn a hefty profit with hard work, dedication, and financial management skills. Today, your blood, sweat, and tears are not enough to keep your business afloat. You need to get familiar with the concepts of digital marketing if you want to survive."
At one time, I sold, wrote, and produced radio ads. So as an entrepreneur myself, I've tried and performed various forms of marketing on my own over the years because I don't have a huge budget to spend on just anything. I’m writing this letter to you in hopes that maybe you can get some ideas to market your own business and better yet, maybe we can help each other.
I would like to tell you briefly why I started my own duplication business in 2003. From 1995 - 2000, I was working for a video production in Kansas City and duplication was a small percentage of that business. When we started a family, we decided to move back to Iowa and be closer to our families. I landed a job with a duplication company in downtown Des Moines in July 2000 and my plan was to work there for a year and then start my own production company.
In December 2000, I wasn't sure if I wanted to be in the video production and duplication industry anymore, mostly because I didn't like the way my employer was running the business. I thought maybe I should try something else, what about web design? But that could've been the worst decision at the time because the dot-com bubble had burst and no one knew what was going to happen next. I taught myself basic web design by learning what different codes did. I built a couple VERY basic websites for myself and then built a few for businesses that were owned by family and friends.
I then learned what made search engines rank one site higher than another so I started offering search engine optimization to my web design clients and to potential clients. I put on my web design website that I will provide FREE search engine analysis and optimization to the first three small businesses to respond. I got three takers on the offer...one was a DirecTV distributor out of North Carolina, one a steel manufacturing company out of England, and the other a marketing company in the Middle East.
I was still working for the duplication company at the time so I offered to re-design the website and optimize it for the search engines. This was late 2002 and their response was "websites aren't a very effective marketing tool".
A few months later, I had a terrible day at work dealing with my co-workers, manager, and the owners so when I got home I said, "If I'm ever going to start my own business, now is the time to do it." So less than five months later, I started Duplication Media in September 2003.
I had only been open for two weeks and I got a call from Florida for someone looking to have 10,000 copies of a VHS videotape. I didn't get that job, but I knew right then that the website was going to be a VERY effective marketing tool. Still today, the website is the #1 marketing tool for Duplication Media as it generates approximately 45-50% of the dollars.
Have you tried Joint Venture Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, or what about Video Marketing? Or are you too intimidated by these to try them yourself?
JOINT VENTURE MARKETING
There are various forms of JV Marketing but the type that I feel would be the best is for two businesses to promote each other. The simplest would be where they each have the other's flyers at the store to give to their own clients. But what if ten of us businesses each printed 500 copies of our own flyers and gave 50 of them to each of the other nine businesses? We could each give these 10 different businesses' marketing tools to our next 50 customers, or top 50 customers, or as an incentive to our top 50 potential clients. We would then each have 450 potential new clients!
My favorite joint venture story is one that marketing guru, Jay Abraham coordinated..."Once I bulk bought 20,000 six-month, $95 memberships from a health club for $0.75 a piece - that’s right, 75 cents. I then went to a clothing store and persuaded them to give a free membership to any customer buying $200 worth of clothes. The health club got an immediate check for $15,000, plus they had 20,000 prospects willing to try their facilities for six months. The club didn’t spend a dime on advertising or promotion. At the end of the six months, the health club closed at least 5 percent of the 20,000 as fully paid renewal members at $95, generating $95,000 in renewal membership income (almost all of which was pure profit) and $15,000 in immediate front-end cash. The retailer client gave his clothing customers a real $95 gift that only cost him 75 cents!" What type of joint venture deal could we work together on?
SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Are you utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or YouTube for marketing your business? Do you know what to do to get more followers? I run more than 25 different Twitter accounts that all benefit my main account. (You can ask me sometime how and why I manage more than 25 Twitter accounts.) My main account is @dupsmedia and it has more than 10,000 followers. I also have an account @Iowa_Marketing_ that I provide info about marketing and it has more than 5,000 followers. By the way...I've NEVER paid for a follower, they're all organic. Are you overwhelmed with running your social media account(s)? Let me know if you would like help and I'll take a look at what you have and see what I can do to increase your followers and/or interaction. I'll even set up a new account for you if you like.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Duplication Media's website has always been the company's #1 marketing tool and the fact that I built the site and do all of the SEO (search engine optimization) myself, the only expenses I have for the site are the domain name and hosting which total less than $75 per year. If you would like help with your search engine optimization, I'll offer FREE analysis and see what I can do to help your site get more traffic. If you want a site built or re-designed, I have connections with people that can help. A former employee of mine can create great looking websites inexpensively or I also know the owner of one of the top web design companies in Iowa.
With my background in video production, I enjoy creating marketing videos. Maybe video marketing could work for your business by telling potential customers what you can do, what you have done, or why you would be the best choice for them. Although I don't have today's most high end camcorder, I can create great looking marketing videos for your social media and the message is the most important thing to get viewers to react. Contact me if you're interested in working together so we can help grow each other's business.
8126 Douglas Ave
Urbandale, Iowa 50322