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A man looking at a planning board, with the quote, "Want to fail at marketing your small business? Try to do too much."

How to fail at marketing your small business: try to do ALL the things

Let me tell you a story. I recently talked to a small business that had hired an experienced marketing person to put together a marketing plan for them. That person put together a very professional and thorough marketing plan. A plan that simply didn’t work. What went wrong? Well, that thorough marketing plan, with all the best practices and bells and whistles, failed to take one thing into account: the fact that it was a small business. With a small...
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A person relaxing a looking at the view, with the quote, "Never let perfectionism get in the way of communicating with potential customers. It can pay to just... chill."

Marketing pro-tip: just chill.

Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, I have a little gift for you, dear small business owner. One I hope you will accept, and take to heart. If you do, it will give you peace and possibly gratitude. I promise. Here is my gift, my friends: you have my permission to just chill when it comes to your marketing. Now, before you get too excited, let me clarify something. I am not telling you that it’s OK to stop...
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A person offering their hand to shake, with the quote, "Unless you don't really like your money, there are much better ways to see if a marketing iniative might work than to just "give it a try".'

How do you know if that great marketing idea will work for your business?

We’ve all had it happen: a salesperson walks in your door (or your inbox) and tells you all about this great small business marketing thing that will attract more customers. You want more customers, you think to yourself. Should you try it? Will it work? Well, there are two ways to find out. One way is to go ahead and purchase their thing or ad space or what-have-you and see what happens. Now, let me be clear; I do NOT...
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A person working on their website, with the quote, "You most important marketing tool is your website"

The one marketing thing every small business must do

I’m not gonna lie, the list of small business marketing best practices is a long one. And ask ten business owners, and they probably will all have their favorite way of attracting new customers. But. Out of all those opinions and all those possibilities, I’m going to draw a line in the sand. If you, as a small business, can only do one marketing-related thing, there’s no doubt in my mind what that one thing is: you must put up...
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Woman with a megaphone, and the quote, "You won't attract new customers if you only talk to your current ones"

Marketing pro tip: stop talking to the same people.

Ask anyone what marketing is, and most would say that it’s advertising. (We’ll save whether or not that’s really the best definition of marketing to another day.) In other words, they think it’s getting your product or service out in front of new potential customers. Emphasis on the new. With that in mind, you may be surprised that a lot of small business owners forget to promote their business to people outside their own customer/fan circle. Why? It’s probably because...
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