5 Tips For Marketing Your New Small Business Online
Our friend Audra recently launched a new photography business in Tampa, FL (Audra Nicole Photography). Using the know-how from her full-time marketing job, she was able to quickly build up a clientele and strong social media presence in just a few short months. We asked her to share some highlights from her success so we could, in turn, share them with you! So here they are … Audra’s five tips for marketing your new small business online.
Guest Blog Post
Being a small business owner is a delicate balancing act. As if it's not hard enough taking your passion and making it into something profitable, you also need to know where the people who want your product/service spend their leisure time online. Once you know them then, gosh! Then comes the website and the social marketing just to get a few leads. It's a lot of work and you start to say to yourself "I didn't go into (insert your business) to spend all of my time marketing."
I've personally found Little Marketing Genius (LMG) to be such a great resource. I do Marketing for a living but their wealth of knowledge has been an awesome reminder for me. For instance, circa 2013, Google Business Pages still hadn't come up with a solution for service-based business. It was a clunky process where you had to do this crazy work around to just get found. So, I put them on the back burner. It wasn't until LMG had an Instagram post about it that I was like, "Sweeetttt, way to go Google" and followed LMG's suggestions to set up my service-based Google business page.
So, other than reading LMG's blogs religiously, here are the five online marketing tips that have helped me with my new small business:
1. Design a good website.
My husband is always on me about not spending money until I'm making money. (Let's just say I've dabbled in a few online business adventures in my time.) I followed that principle for years but it just lead to long hours for me that I just didn't have as we kept adding more kids to our family. So, I bought a custom URL and I paid for a WordPress website template. I had coupon codes and it was worth it.
If you already have a website, I suggest screen grabbing it right now and saving it somewhere. It will be fun to look back at how far you've come as you start to tweak your brand. If you don't have a website or are looking for a change, I suggest going to Wix, buying a theme to add to WordPress, or using LMG.
2. Girl, you need to blog!
Okay, so your website is set up. Now I suggest blogging. Like LMG says - blog at least twice a month but strive for even more! They have a blog post about why.
At first, I started blogging about myself. I'm an introverted extrovert so I'm this blend of shy but personable. Who knew, right?! So, it was VERY hard for me to start blogging about myself. For one I thought, “Who is going to care?” and then, two, “Gosh, what do I even say?”
My market is saturated with photographers but there's only one me out there. I'm a wife, believer, Mom to three young kids, and have a full-time job on top of my business so I figured somewhere another woman out there would totally relate to me.
I'm not a copywriter and I don't stress myself out about it either. I am who I am and I do the best I can to make my high school English teachers proud! It takes awhile to start to get organic traffic from the blog posts so don't get discouraged. Just keep doing it!
3. Find Your Audience Online
Okay, so have I stressed you out yet? No?! Okay, cool. So next, find where the people who want your product/service spend their leisure time online. I serve women with my photography business and they're predominantly on Facebook and Instagram. I use the platforms differently. On Facebook I share my blog posts. On, Instagram I share my portfolio and quotes to inspire women because inspirational quotes have always been my "thing." You can ask any of my friends. I'm always their cheerleader pushing them to do more so I thought, hey, why not do it for perfect strangers, too?!
4. Be Genuine On Instagram
Like the blogging, I try to be as genuine as possible. I share that I'm not a perfect Mom. I share when I make mistakes. No one is perfect and, again, I feel that somewhere out there another woman can relate to me.
Back in high school I found my calling as a complimenter. I just see the best in people and I like sharing it with them. "Oh girl, I love your top." I'm totally genuine about it. So, I took that to social media. At first I thought, gosh, these women don't know me and they're going to think I'm a total weirdo. Then I thought, when someone comments on my photos on Instagram, first, it makes me feel good and, second, I totally check out their pages. Who is this person? Natural relationships just formed, which has lead to increased relationships and followers for me.
5. Use Instagram Hashtags
Like Facebook, Instagram is always changing their algorithm. Right now, Instagram allows you to use 30 hashtags. However, I've been getting stuck around 15. After you share your photo, add a comment to your own post and place the 15-30 hashtags in there. That way it's not crammed in with your photo description but you'll still get found. Since I'm a photographer, I try to keep my hashtags local but sometimes I use broader ones, too.
So, there you have it! Those are my five tips for marketing your new small business online. I hope it helped you. Don't forget to follow me @audranicole_photography on Instagram so I can watch as you as you become #instafamous!