Marketing Materials are a Necessity

By Christina Suter on Sep 21, 2019 at 08:00 AM in Business Issues
Marketing Materials are a Necessity

One thing that will make or break a business is cash flow, meaning not being able to understand how to control, maximize or minimize your cash flow. More than making your company profitable, being constantly, chronically behind on your cash flow makes running your business complicated, it will cause you stress, will lead to your company having a poor credit rating, upset vendors when you're behind on paying, and your clients and employees will perceive your overwhelm and see you as incapable. Your sense of security and strength as a leader and the faith in your company is also negatively impacted by your failure to control your cash flow. Ultimately, your company will feel bad if you can't control cash flow, but if you can't make the company perform in a positive sense, meaning you have more cash flow than expenses, you will close the company. 

The other cornerstone that will close the doors of your business is a refusal to market. I encourage you to sit and look at what marketing you're doing for your company. Is it a lot? Is it a little? Is it none? Are you letting yourself be found? Marketing includes networking, establishing yourself as an expert in the field, any social media presence, magazine publishing, PR work, or anything that makes you findable. If you are not a findable company, you will eventually run out of clients; you need to be able to replace the natural attrition your clients will have. Even a great client of 20 years will need or want to move on. I have three clients whom I've had over 10 years which is uncommon, but aside from them, my business is helping small business owners move or function in a way that they are able to eventually work more in their business than on their business, so I have to replace my clients. I have to be marketing and advertising and be findable. 

If you have a good answer to an important problem or something that will make a difference, and you're not willing to shout it from the mountaintops and share that you can help somebody, you're being selfish and withholding. 

If you have something that would make someone else's life easier, why would you hide it? Why would you keep it away from people? Why would you not share in a way that allows people to find you? Whatever keeps you from doing marketing, whether it's because you don't want people to think you're being sale-sy, or that you don't want to be arrogant about your business, or be boring by talking about your business, I suggest you challenge that directly to yourself and figure out what you need to do so that you are willing to share that you are an expert in your field and that you have a solution that can help people. Then determine what your natural, easy, and foremost form of marketing is.

For me, networking and talking to people is what comes easiest and most naturally. I am not a writer; I'm a verbal person who likes to talk and share. I generate almost all the content for my radio show and through it, I share with you, in as many ways as I can, my passions, lessons, and thoughts on small business and small business management. I then send my radio show to a writer/editor and she turns my radio shows into the blogs on this site, including the one you're reading. I go to events and attend meetings where I can shake hands and verbally tell people what I do and how I can help them. 

What do you do? Pull out a piece of paper and write down the answer. What internal work do you need to do to be findable, because you have something to contribute and it's not your job to hide it. God or whatever higher power you believe in wants you to share it. You were given answers and the clarity to share it. 

What are you doing right now for marketing? Why is branding a live or die in your business? Why do you hesitate to market yourself? 

Forms of Marketing materials:
Business card
Brochure with pricing
Social Media

My radio show works as marketing material; the audience gets to listen to it and I get to put it on my website. The show is posted consistently and branded with my logo to create brand messaging. You can run an ad in the old fashioned printed yellow pages or on a yellow pages website. Your website is material that can be spread across numerous platforms. You can link people to your site by commenting your site's link in the comment section of videos as well as use your website and embed Youtube videos you've created. Your website link, LinkedIn and Youtube in your email signature. 

Marketing platforms:
Facebook wall- This allows you to brand yourself as a company separate from you being a small proprietor who posts about their business on their personal FB page.

LinkedIn- A virtual business card that allows you to find and endorse others and make yourself findable. LinkedIn groups and meetings are a great way to network and socialize with people within your industry and those in a niche you may want to connect your business to.

Twitter- A good platform to consistently drive home your company's purpose and offerings. Use your company's branding on your header and avatar and make the messages your company tweet consistent with your brand. Connect with customers and potential clients and develop tweets others want to retweet and share with their audience.

Public Speaking- Are you out there in public speaking on the work you do or the field in which you are an expert? Speak at small businesses in the area that might be able to use your content or business.

Yelp- Perfect for service-based, low-cost businesses like barbershops, dog groomers, and plumbers.

If you're a high-end business, most people won't use Yelp to get a sense of your services. Slick magazines, paid newspaper advertisements and other printed publishings are a good way of doing a higher way of being sold because those people will identify that they have a need, research businesses who can meet that need through looking online and asking friends and then they will decide where they're going to lay their money down. Think about all the research you do before you buy a car. 

What's the right platform for your type of business? Are you a service company that people can review your services? Your homework is to write down what platforms you're using and figure out what you need for your style of business.