Must-Have Marketing Resources for Small Businesses
One of the biggest struggles my self-employed, creative clients face is marketing. These days, every small business owner needs to have some understanding of design, social media, email marketing and copywriting, but with client work and the regular admin duties that come with running a business, where is the time?!
I’ve compiled a list of my top five affordable and simple resources for small business owners like you. I’ve used these myself and recommend them to all of my clients.
When you’re not sure what (or why) to post on Instagram:
This big-picture digital course does a great job of making Instagram strategy understandable for beginners. It covers what you’re posting, why you’re posting it and how to engage people with intention. Even if you’re not a newbie, there are tips on how to design your feed and use apps to make your photos pop.
When it feels like writing copy is as fun as a root canal:
It’s copywriting for people who aren’t natural copywriters. If you don’t know how to write compelling sales copy, copy that converts, this course is for you. I’m a huge fan of Marie Forleo, and also took her signature course, B-School.
Though this program is the most expensive on the list, Marie offers low monthly payment plans. LOVE! It’s only open for enrollment once or twice a year, so if it’s closed, get on the waitlist!
When you’re totally out of post/blog/email ideas:
If you’ve ever suffered from writer’s block (because you’re a human person), this program is solid gold. Members get strategy and editable scripts to grow their business each month. Currently priced at just $27 a month, the price of a happy hour, it’s a steal.
When you’re still publishing one post at a time (please tell me you aren’t doing this):
There are many planning and scheduling apps for social media, and this is by far my favorite. The tool allows you to schedule posts on Instagram and Facebook weeks, even months in advance. Pretty cool, but here’s my favorite feature. After publishing 50 posts, it will identify your best posts days and times each week, so you can schedule your most important posts when they’ll get the best traffic. The tool is simple enough and takes about an hour to learn how to use. Starter plans are free, though I recommend the $19 Premium Plan for Business if you’re posting a few times a day, and on multiple platforms.
When you need it designed:
If you have a limited budget and are looking for a freelance graphic designer, check out Upwork. This freelancing platform allows you to post a job and get connected with a list of candidates. You can also browse profiles on the site, helping you find designers based on style.
Upwork has it’s pros and cons, for both the client and the designer. And as a former designer and art director, I have some thoughts about how to (and how not to) use the platform. Here are some factors to consider:
- Sometimes designers don’t deliver work on-time. Or they do a poor job. Read reviews and make sure you know who you’re hiring before you hire them.
- Consider starting with a small project rather than a big one. Test-drive the relationship.
- Pay a fair wage. These are freelancers, that means small businesses like you. They’re paying self-employment taxes and expensive private health insurance. It’s easy to look for designers based on price first, but don’t do it. Find someone you like with quality work, pay them a decent wage.
- Be very clear on the details. Know what is expected of each party, when it’s expected and the cost.
- Be a good client. Treat them as you want to be treated. Meet your deadlines. Pay on time. If you do, you may get rewarded by finding a designer who will stick with you long-term. A win-win for everyone.
What are your must-have marketing resources? If you try these out, I’d love to hear from you. Share your story in the comments below, or tag @alexisbcoaching on Instagram!