Reasons to Hire a Small Business Marketing Consultant

Many business owners operate under the false assumption that marketing consultants are only affordable for larger companies. In truth, there are many benefits to hiring a small business marketing consultant, as outlined below.

What Marketing Consultants Do

First, here’s a look at just what a consultant does for organizations:

Overall company evaluation. It’s hard for new business owners to evaluate their young organizations. A consultant can pull from years of business experience to assess the weaknesses and strengths of a fledgling business.

Strategic planning. Consultants must have:

1. A strong educational record in business.

2. Extensive experience as a business leader.

3. Exceptional understanding of how business trends work.

These features allow marketing planners to provide suggestions on how a business can succeed. After learning about an organization and identifying major opportunities and obstacles, a small business marketing consultant should be able to create a strategic plan to lead the firm to success.

Marketing design. Chances are your small business marketing consultant can write excellent ad copy to draw in new customers. Beyond designing small business marketing strategies, consultants can construct complete marketing campaigns. From graphic design to copywriting and editing, a small business consultant can wear many different hats while helping your business succeed.

Project and process management. The consulting lifestyle appeals to many leaders in the corporate world. Indeed, most small business consultants are top business performers who have decided to shift to a different way of life. This means consultants usually have project management and process design skills, which they can employ to improve your business’s performance.

How Small Companies Benefit

Let’s explore the benefits of hiring such consultants:

A fresh perspective. Contracting with a consultant as one of your marketing strategies will bring you an unbiased, fresh perspective. Internal conflicts and ongoing office politics can limit one’s vision. Outside consultants are free of preconceived ideas about your business, so they can provide a fresh perspective.

High-quality help. As mentioned earlier, most business consultants have transitioned to consultancy from a star-studded business career. In other words, you’ll likely receive top-shelf advice from your consultant – and for less than the cost of a single employee.

Peace of mind. Partnering with a marketing contractor can help you feel calm and confident about the future of your business. With peace of mind, you can better focus on your organization’s core offerings and drawing in new business.

Cost and time efficiency. You get great bang for your buck when you hire a marketing contactor. Since most marketing strategy planning consultants charge hourly rates, you avoid paying employee-related taxes by hiring them. Moreover, consultants are experienced, versatile professionals capable of handling everything from social media to long-term strategic planning. Rather than bringing in a new crew of writers, marketers, project managers and designers, you can pay a trusted advisor on an as-needed basis. Hiring a small business marketing consultant maximizes cost-efficiency.

Clearly, there are multiple benefits to partnering with a small business marketing consultant. From creating comprehensive small business marketing strategies to performing overall business check-ups, marketing consultants can help your company shine.

Ten Things You Must Do Before Getting on That Business Stage

1. Have a clear message – You’re not going to just get up there and blah, blah, blah right?
You are going to be persuasive, and you are going to create impact with your well- chosen words. You will be giving your audience what they need, what they want to hear, and challenging them a little, exciting them a lot, and don’t forget to be provocative. Deliver a message that is passionate, answers questions, and provides solutions.2. Rehearse – Please don’t wing it, unless you are the King or Queen of Improvisation.
Take time to walk through your presentation, saying it out loud so that you can hear how you sound. Don’t wait until the last minute to rehearse. Practice in front of a friend, colleague, or professional. Check your ego at the door. You are taking on a role. Playing the best version of yourself requires some attention, creation and repetition. Take your time to develop this role.3. Know your material inside out and then forget it – Once you have absorbed yourself in your presentation, be willing to let it go. If a client or participant wants to ask a question or take you in another direction, great, have fun and go along for the ride. Nailing your material means that you can pick up your topic where you left off, or head to another point. No temptation to focus on your notes or get stuck in your PowerPoint presentation, because you know your material.4. Feeling authentic-Have you created a presentation that really reflects your personality? I hope so. Did you include your wicked sense of humor, or great ability to tell stories? Do you sound like everyone else, playing it safe, or have you pushed the envelope? The kiss of death is to just blend in and be generic. Don’t forget that you are the product; make sure your personal style is all over your material.5. Managing your stage fright-Feeling a little bit nervous is a good thing. It gives you an extra boost of adrenaline and gets you focused. Feeling like you are going to pass out, that is another story. Here are some quick tips to manage those butterflies:Plant some friends in the audience, people who support you and want you to succeed. Play to the warm bodies, those friendly smiling faces. Before you present, make sure to schmooze and make some contacts, this will warm you up and help you to feel connected. Don’t lose yourself in your material. If you are nervous, look to your audience. Staying connected will calm you down. If this is your first big presentation, you can tell on yourself. Share your nervousness in a humorous way, and be amazed by the love and support you receive.6. What are you wearing-You must look great for your presentation. Don’t wait for the last minute to figure out your wardrobe. I made that mistake once, and had to scramble to find something that fit. Purchase a power wardrobe for your presentations, outfits that make you look awesome. Make sure you feel good in these clothes. Feel your best, and you will look your best. Don’t opt for safe and drab, choose some color. Stand out! You are the star, aren’t you?7. Think about connecting-As a presenter, you must make a connection with your audience. In order to get your message across, to be believable, to inspire confidence, you must connect. Once you have established a strong bond with the people in the room, you can create magic, sell, convince, amaze, and win people over. This one is a big deal, not to be taken for granted. You must create this bond, and create it quickly.8. Get in the acting zone-It’s time to get into role (the best possible version of yourself), to put on your costume (business suit), to command the stage (or podium, or conference room) and wow your audience ( clients, colleagues). It’s time to put out all the stops, and in a professional, dynamic and effective manner, deliver your message.9. Ready to Shine-If you have done any work with me by now you should know what I mean by shining. You have accessed your star qualities, and you are powerful and intentional in delivering your message. You are open, available, and willing to share all of the fabulous qualities you possess. Your reflection is blinding.10. After the show is over-It’s time to pat yourself on the back for a job well-done. This is not the time for judgments and should haves. You have plenty of time to assess your performance later. Now is the time to bask in the glow of having gotten up on that stage, and delivered your best performance. Not best for all time, but best for that day. Celebrate!

How to Implement Internet Marketing for Small Business

When a local merchant begins to have a presence online it is much more than just putting up a website. Your company needs to first have a plan. When you implement you web presence you need to understand what you are trying to do with your Website.What is you web site designed to do?Is there to Educate People about your business?Are you actually selling product on the internet and collecting money via a merchant account?How are you driving traffic to your website?When people come to your website are they directed to a call to action to do something?Do you have the ability to collect Email Addresses, Phone numbers, Names and Addresses? How are you following up through an Auto Responder, Customer Service line, Direct mail?How are you measuring the success of your Website? Are you collecting Leads such as name, email, phone and address? How are you driving traffic to your website, Google AdWords, Organic- SEO Traffic, Banner Ads?As you can see there are many questions to ask and it all depends on the goals of your company how these questions are answered.As a local merchant it is best to start off collecting leads through an Auto Responder. This way you can have automatic follow-up and the ability to collect the data to follow-up on the phone and with Direct mail. Once you have established a way to collect leads you then need to give people who visit you Website a reason to leave their information. Most develop an information package that shows potential customers a do it yourself strategy. Most potential customers that read do it yourself manuals will call back and ask for the Merchant to do the service.Once you have your Call to action and your Lead collection set up on your website you need to concentrate on Driving Traffic to your site. Here are some simple techniques to drive traffic inexpensively:1) Set up a Blog and post and Ping to social network sites – Do this 3 times a week.2) Write Articles and submit them through Article submissions sites – Do this 1 time per week.3) Create a Press Release – Do this 1 Time per monthSome small merchants hire a social media consultant to provide a presence on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Linked In. Those same consultants can manage the creation and release of you Blogs, Articles and Press releases. This base platform of a web presence can be expanded based on conversion rates of the leads produced.