You may have heard the old cliches about improving SEO and gauging your markets based on engagement rates, lead generation, conversion, etc. But as a small business owner you probably don’t have the time much less the concern to deal with setting up and running a convoluted content campaign or digital marketing regressions with RSS feeds, dashboards, and silly arguments about how many stars make for a positive Yelp review. Pipe dreams and endless discussions without pragmatism are what make a wannabe entrepreneur into a wantrepreneur. The real entrepreneurs like you don’t have time for hairsplitting math and small-minded quibbles. As a business owner you are out to put food on the table and grow organically – and fast! So where are the easy wins?

I want to lay out three tips that are changing the way small businesses market, sell, and ship – tips which in hindsight will seem strikingly obvious and easy to get. When working harder, you hit a point where you need to work smarter. Without gobs of cash sitting around to hire a backroom ivory tower analyst, you need to hunt for low-hanging fruit. My eyes were opened when I realized I could build my own website and social media strategy quickly and scale up, and the voicemail and inbox started to fill up with the right kind of messages from the right kind of people.

Keep in mind that not only are these steps easy and manageable, they are also completely free. Here they are:

  1. Design Your Best Website
  2. Plan for Social Media
  3. Swipe Right and Match with Clients!


1. Design Your Best Website

Website building is a scary behemoth to many people, bringing up traumatizing memories of meaningless reams of HTML code, zeros and ones. But today those nuts and bolts lines of code are in museums next to the caveman display. Today’s websites are easy for anybody to build, and the big secret is they’re free. Grandma could have her site up and running in a day, and I could teach her to manage it to look exactly the way she wants.

Your best website is just a matter of having a domain and installing Joomla or WordPress. These tools are easy to implement and have an enormous community of people who already had all the same technical questions you will have. Run into a problem and google it. Then you’ll find an answer that mostly just uses words you learned in gradeschool. The internet is no longer designed to make you feel stupid. Find a website you find impressive and ask yourself why it impressed you. Then steal the idea.

Your best website sends the right message. That is your message and it attracts the right kinds of people, because they like the way you sell you. Once the website is up and running, you can start to plan what kinds of things you are going to put on it. With WordPress and Joomla, you can write all of your blog posts at once and schedule them to be posted whenever. Then you can step back and watch the traffic grow.

  • Know the message you want to send
  • Use the right colors and design
  • Make sure the back-end is manageable by anybody
  • Test on different devices and browsers
  • Build a hands-off schedule from the beginning

2. Plan for Social Media

If you don’t have a company Facebook page, you are wasting years of potential clients for a process that would take you only five minutes to complete. That’s the amount of time it takes to get a social media page up and running- on a bad day. Try just putting up a new page for five minutes every day over the course of this week. Then on Saturday, pat yourself on the back because you’ll have thousands more potential clients from: Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Youtube.

After that first easy step, you could start to form a hands-off strategy and integrate your pages easily with your website. Make it easy for the right people to find you and convince them you’re worth it. These days having a good social business page is like wearing the right clothes to work, it is both necessary and easy. Showing up is half the battle, so dress to impress. Join the right groups and imitate their style. Schedule posts across all your platforms using Buffer, which lets you post the same thing everywhere. Much like the blog posts, you can use Buffer to write all of your tweets, comments, articles, or even rants, at once, and schedule them for anytime.

  • Put a page up on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn
  • Integrate this with your website
  • Join the right groups
  • Use Buffer
  • If you see something you like, put it in Buffer
  • Build a hands-off schedule from the beginning


3. Swipe Right and Match with Clients

In the world of digital marketing you only have a couple seconds to impress and match with the right people. The good news is that this allows for you to have an enormous number of potential clients, to the point where you are the one picking and choosing. If you really are exactly what they are looking for, you will have them knocking at your door and flooding your inbox. Target the right people.
Using the free tools like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, and other social media and page metrics, will help you understand who is visiting and what they like.

Go to the pages they like, the other companies they have matched with, and find out what it was that made them fall in love. And again- imitate that. Take cues from the strategies that worked, and make them work for you. This process can be as sparse and quick as you want it to be. It is not a big long-term time commitment, unless you want it to be. Your biggest wins might come within the first five minutes of doing some basic research on who you want. But it always starts with the question: Who do you want to partner with? Show them what they love. Show them you! If you really get this- then the voicemail and inbox will start to fill up with the right kind of messages from the right kind of people.

  • Target the right people
  • Find out what pages they like
  • Imitate those pages as appropriate
  • Build a hands-off schedule from the beginning