Small Business Marketing: 39 Small Business Pros Share their #1 Tip

By | February 25, 2016

Do you often wonder how the professionals in your industry handle their small business marketing efficiently?

Would you like to know what works best and what to avoid for promoting your brand and attracting clients?

City Print Design reached out to 39 marketing and advertising experts and asked them to answer this crucial question…

What is your No #1 tip for small business marketing this year and why?

Their insights are both inspirational and motivational for any small business owner who wants to market their website and stand out from the crowd.

Enjoy the post and spread the word if you get value out of it.

Thank you!


Alex ElseaAlex Elsea // @Twitter

My tip is to be where your target audience is and give them the content they want, not the content you want to give them.

If they’re young, Snapchat and Twitter are the places.

If they’re older, Facebook will likely be the main front.


It’s so easy for us to fall into the groove of distributing content about our products and what we want them to see. But rather, give them content that interests your target audience and brings them value, even if it has nothing to do with your product.

It’ll keep them engaged and bring you revenue in the long run.


Manny RiverManny River // @Twitter

Every once and a while, I would sit with a new client and they would say things like “I just need a basic website” or “I don’t have a lot of content, so I don’t need that much functionality.”

As both a developer and a marketer this really grinds my gears.
In this day and age, In 2016 and beyond there should be no excuse to have just a “basic” website.  Your website should be an extension of your business.  It’s on and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and could possibly be your best salesmen.

As a small business owner your website could be the first impression you give to your potential customer, do you really want leave them with a basic impression of your business?

As a business owner you should always have a story to tell which means you will always have content to share. Having a website with fundamentals like, being mobile responsive, having a sitemap and being secured will establish a strong online presence.

Create an experience for them by your sharing stories of how you helped your customers and how you got started as a small business owner.  The more engaging, the more fun, the more returning visitors you will have.”


Alison PodworskiAlison Podworski // @Twitter

Pitch yourself as an expert to the media. Pay attention to trends, studies and news in your industry. Many times the media will try to localize a new study or national news story.

If you see a timely topic, reach out to the media and explain that you can discuss it and explain how it will impact their viewers or readers. This is where you can be ahead of your competition.

If your interview goes well and that media outlet is doing another story in your industry, you have a very good chance of being interviewed again. Media exposure is FREE media!”


Kyle ReyesKyle Reyes // @Twitter

With a massive amount of “noise” in the digital and traditional advertising arenas, small businesses need to make one major adjustment to their marketing if they want to be successful in 2016.

They need to start tailoring their message to their audience.

Think about it like this.  As a business owner, you decide to run a radio ad on five different stations.  How many businesses run the exact same ad?  Even worse…they’ll then “post” the ad on social media?

The inherent problem is this: each station and medium has an entirely different audience.  How do you expect one radio ad to target a hip hop audience, a country audience, an oldies audience AND a Facebook audience when they are all entirely different demographics?

It’s time businesses start customizing messages if they want to cut through the noise.


Nellie AkalpNellie Akalp // @Twitter

My #1 tip for small business marketing is to not focus on what’s trendy, but what works for your business. Every year new social networks get popular and it’s overwhelming to try to keep up with every single popular platform.

Instead of trying to maintain a ton of profiles for your business and get get little-to-no traction on any of them, focus on a few that really work for marketing your business and skip the rest.


Ken YanceyKen Yancey // @Twitter

My number one tip for small business marketing in 2016 is to find a mentor-or group of mentors-with experience in your industry or area of business.

These mentors should be people who you can trust, and who will not only advise you, but will also hold you accountable for implementing your marketing decisions.

Relying on the advice of someone who has been there, and done that before, has repeatedly been proven valuable when running a business.


Brad Farris Brad Farris // @Twitter

My #1 tip for small business marketing in 2016 is to pick one thing and DOMINATE it. I see too many people spreading their time, energy and money across 5 different social platforms, plus blogging, webinars, etc.

I’d prefer to see folks slow down, pick on tactic and do it REALLY well. Pick one social channel and be all over it.

Once you have that down to a science (and I mean you can do it in your SLEEP) then maybe think about adding a second tactic or channel.

Keep it simple so you can get good at it, so you can sustain it and so that you can easily measure results.


Brian GreenbergBrian Greenberg // @Twitter

The easiest sale to make is to someone you already sold goods or services to.  They have already said Yes to you.

Too often businesses are on the hunt for new clients where the conversion rate is far lower.

Engage your existing customers, find out their needs and take care of them.


Brian MoranBrian Moran // @Twitter

My best marketing tip for small business owners in 2016:

Know how your customers and prospects want to communicate with you and your company. If it’s through social media, what platforms or tools are they using?

Don’t know—ask them. Do they prefer direct mail, email or telemarketing?

Every business is different including your business. The easiest and most cost efficient way to market your business is by asking questions before you invest your time and money.


Chris GonzalezChris Gonzalez // @Twitter

My Number #1 tip for small business marketing this year is find the right social platform that your target audience is actively using, and focus on telling your unique story.


Every brand, company, business, service, or product has a unique story to tell. But it’s how you’re telling your story, who you’re telling it to, and what you’re actually saying that matters. Brands need to be considering what social platform is right for them, not what platform is flashy and new.


If you’re a brand trying to reach out to specifically middle aged soccer moms, investing time and resources into Facebook targeted ad products may be the right type of social ad tactic that works; whereas, a brand looking to reach 15-22 year olds, who has the ability to make great original content every 24 hours, may want to consider a Snapchat ad product.

Not because Snapchat is new or hot, but because it’s going to allow the brand to connect with their customers in a real way that speaks to their targeted consumer segment. Good marketing is exclusive.

My Number #2 tip for small business marketing this year is find creative ways to add value and delight to your customer experience both online and offline.


I think when it comes to social media, to many brands are focused on informing the audience about what they do, but not adding value in why they do it. I see too many brands who are too focused on informing an audience and not looking for ways to add value to their audiences experience, pass just discounts and sales.

Brands interested in connecting with B2B customers for instance, should consider adding value to their audience with great natural editorial that is jammed packed with great unique information, on the topics and subjects their professional service or product is considered an expert in.

Brands who want to reach foodies on social media for instance, could create a vine account that features 6 second, step by step videos featuring creative artisan recipes. When it comes to communicating on social, brands need to focus on delighting customers and genuinely adding value to consumers lives, and sales will be a result.

Money, features, or updates are what you do, but they’re not why you’re in business.

There a result of your organization’s mission of why they’re in business, and your social media should publicly reflect that.


Chris HamiltonChris Hamilton // @Twitter

My #1 small business marketing tip is that marketing for a company needs to be trackable with a return on investment.

Marketing initiatives need to get sales in the door and as such I have seen so many companies, big and small, do a marketing initiative that isn’t very well thought out and doesn’t tie to any sales goals.

A company needs to really think about what are the goals that they are going to achieve and what kind of revenue that they would like to make so that they can determine a return on investment on their marketing.

Make sure that you set quantifiable goals such as:

  • We want 100 sign ups for a demo
  • Which will close 25 Sales
  • At an average price of $1,000
  • For $25,000 total revenue

Then once the campaign is over, take your total revenue divided by your total cost for your return on investment. Using the example above, if the marketing campaign has a cost of $2,500, then their return on investment is 1000% or they get $10 for every $1 spent.


Christine GallagherChristine Gallagher // @Twitter

In 2016, community and “face time” are more important than ever. Whereas a regular email newsletter may have been sufficient in the past, one-sided communication just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Prospects are craving more ways to access you, and tools like Facebook Groups, SnapChat, Periscope and Blab are becoming musts in order to create know, like, and trust faster.

For example, Facebook Groups offer a way to engage your market and have them feel that they are a part of a special community – this is especially important now that Facebook Pages are getting much less visibility.

Blab allows you to have your own “talk show” or discussion with 2-4 people, and apps like Periscope allow you to broadcast live and in real time, while taking questions or comments from your audience.

These are all very important tools in an era where engagement has become king.



Debra RuhDebra Ruh // @Twitter

My number #1 tip for small business marketing is to engage with your audience. Do not sell, sell and sell. Engage, ask questions, share your knowledge and learn from your audience.

Your followers do not want you to talk at them but speak to them. Also follow your customer’s back.  Today’s Social Media followers are Turned off by brands that do not follow back. Some small business expect us to follow them but do not engage with us so there is no reason to keep following you.

Provide shout outs to your clients and followers. Applause their efforts. Ask for their advice of how to improve your product and services.

Focus on the #RoR or the “Return on Relationships”. The term was coined by Ted Rubin and he is right – engage with followers to create relationships that lead to loyalty.

Social media is social. Do not make it all about you. Make it about your customers and followers.

It is okay to update us on your product and services but use the 80/20 rule.Engage and add value to their feeds by sharing content that will help them.


Deirdre BreakenridgeDeirdre Breakenridge // @Twitter

Small companies should be targeted, content-producing engines, if they have the right process in place.

Before you think about the meaningful content you want to develop for your customers and the steady distribution, you have to get your content engine into place.

The first step is to evaluate your internal resources and set up a workflow system with your team. Asking and answering these questions is really important to your process.

Do you have an internal platform to help coordinate the creation and approval of content? Does this platform edit in real-time and also provide you with project management reminders? Who will be the content creators vs. the editors for approval, and who will manage the process on a regular basis?

Then, you want to make sure a community manager watching, interacting and fielding questions about your content and evaluating the performance analytics. After all, if you don’t measure, then don’t bother being a content machine.

Even the smallest companies create a workflow process and set a system into place. Your customers will rally and engage around the relevant content you share. Of course, you need to have the right engine in place to inspire your community and to create more impact.


Evan CarmichaelEvan Carmichael // @Twitter


Stop trying to sell so much and start caring more.

Your heart is your competitive advantage.


Heather SmithHeather Smith // @Twitter

My #1 tip  for small business marketing this year is short sharp focused interesting newsletters because statistically newsletters have the highest return on engagement over any other form of publication and once you’ve published them – you can repurpose the content across your other social media channels.

I use mailchimp, and if you’re new to mailchimp – I suggest  getting an expert to help you set it up, so you simply need to add content and send a newsletter campaign to your community.


Hope BrookinsHope Brookins // @Twitter

~ Personal Branding & Online Business Strategist

Partner With Online Influencers

What started as a relationship between brands and bloggers has now spread to all platforms. From Facebook to Instagram, this peer-to-peer alternative to traditional marketing has taken off because of its proven success.

Influencer marketing involves employing individuals who have a large following to market your product in a new form of peer-to-peer marketing. It is the equivalent of wanting to buy the same brand name clothing, go to the same events, and eat the same food as the cool popular kids in high school.

Except influencers aren’t the cool kids in high school. They are individuals with a large online following.
Businesses invite influencers to partner so that an influencers’ followers will see their product. These blog posts or social shares are essentially a paid product endorsement.

If a company wants to partner with an influencer, there are endless ways they can work together.

Sometimes brands just give free product to influencers and other times, with larger influencers, brands pay a fee in exchange for a post. One of the most popular ways that brands can partner with influencers is through giveaways.

This is when a brand gives an influencer free product that they can share with their followers. Influencers can leverage the giveaway by growing their email list and brands can get in front of their ideal buyers.

The one catch is that the giveaways have to be things that people actually want.

Influencer marketing is relatively inexpensive compared to traditional advertising and is a great way to amplify your message, even with a small budget. If a business wants to add one new small business marketing strategy to their business this year, make it influencer marketing.


Jennifer VargasJennifer Vargas // @Twitter

Honestly, video content in any form is important for business this year.

With periscope and Vine marketing campaigns showing tremendous success, its’s stupid not to build brand integrity via influential marketing.

Perfect example is Beyonce super bowl release of her new album. She was leaving snippets on Instagram and video content snowballing to the big event.


Isaiah BollingerIsaiah Bollinger // @Twitter

My number one tip for small business marketing is to experiment with many different marketing and sales channels such as Google Adwords, SEO, blogging, webinars, Facebook, eCommerce, promotions, outbound sales, and more.

You never know what could work until you try it and as a small business there are often many ways to increase exposure and sales. Once one or more channels become profitable invest more in those channels and then you can experiment more with other channels with the profit generated from the successful ones.

A personal example is we took a shot in the dark by starting a Meetup, the Boston eCommerce Meetup, because we did not see anything like it in the area. It has gained some serious traction and has actually started to help get us exposure and even real customers.

The trick with testing many channels out is to not make the mistake of investing too little effort and time into a channel and ruling it out when it was really the execution that was the problem not the channel itself.


Ivana TaylorIvana Taylor // @Twitter

If you don’t have enough customers and you’re not making enough money — consider that you don’t have a MARKETING problem.

You have an OFFER problem. In other words, you aren’t selling the right thing to the right customer.

To fix this, you will have to take a fresh look at your business.  Start with evaluating your product market fit.

This means making a list of exactly what you are offering and describing the ideal customer for that offer.

Then start recruiting a core group of customers who are exciting about your offer.  Engage with them regularly (weekly or daily) using a private Facebook group.  Encourage them to share their experiences and suggestions.  Tweak and adjust your offer to match what they want and you’ll see sales, profits and loyal customers go up.


Janet ThaelerJanet Thaeler // @Twitter

I made about $7k (net) running Facebook ads recently as an affiliate of another company.

Small businesses should learn Facebook advertising. Sure it’s pay to play but you can do it on a limited budget and ads can be laser targeted to the ideal customer you wish to attract.

What other ads go directly to your ideal customer? Today I’m meeting with a local baseball franchise owner about running Facebook ads to sell season tickets during the off season. We plan to offer some t-shirts and ball caps to incentivize purchases.

And don’t forget to use Facebook search to see what kinds of posts related to your business are getting likes, comments and shares. They could provide inspiration for your next campaign.


Jason CohenJason Cohen // @Twitter

Focus on one channel that can move the needle on your business.  Spreading your money and attention across channels rarely leads to efficient results, particularly when you’re too small to invest properly in any one.

Instead, pick a channel you have a natural affinity or ability in, and go deep.

So for example, you use Facebook an hour a day already, so try to make that work by participating in (or starting) groups, using ads, promoting a company page, creating content inside Facebook, and so on.


Jason QueyJason Quey // @Twitter

Are you ready to increase your profit by 25-125%? And no, this doesn’t take much work either.

All you need to do is focus on creating the best experience for your customers in the first 100 days and you’ll see many of your customers stick with your business for life.

Additionally, you can survey them to find out what other challenges they are dealing with. Once you’ve earned the trust of your customer, they are more-than-happy to keep opening up their wallets for you.

If you do anything online and enjoy connecting with others, you can also consider influencer marketing as a solution. On average, businesses generate $6.50 in revenue for each $1 invested in influencer marketing.

On top of that, 70% of influencer marketing campaigns made $2 or more for every $1 invested, and 13% make $20 or more. Only 18% failed to generate any revenue.


Joe BunnJoe Bunn // @LinkedIn

I don’t know if my tip is so much related to marketing as it is related to sales, but the two go hand in hand. Two words-response time. People spend tons of money to get the phone to ring or the inbox to blow up, and then get back to the potential customers days later! That’s insane!

While you’re NOT contacting them back promptly, I can assure you, your competitors are! For whatever field you are in, there are many more out there that are just as good or better than you are, but isn’t the first responder probably going to be the one to get the job?!

It is so easy these days for people seeking goods or services to just hop on the net and find the best of the best. A simple Google search will get you right where you need to be.

For example, if I have a leaky faucet right now and Google Raleigh, NC plumber, I’m going to call and call until I get an actual human on the phone that says they can come right away to fix my issue.

I don’t care if you have 100 yelp reviews that you’re the best plumber in the state, I’m going with the guy that answers the phone! It’s all about response time these days.

To summarize, my #1 small business marketing tip is to get back to the folks wanting you as soon as humanly possible. If you can’t do it on your own, hire someone to work for you that can!


John AndrewsJohn Andrews // @Twitter

Find and cherish your special sauce. What makes you really different from your competitor? Define it, makes sure everyone in your organization understands and owns it.

Then use digital tools to measure how much of the mindshare of your potential customers you own of it. Google your special sauce and see where you rank. Use content to build your position.

One of the simplest tools is Alexa. It’s a free tool that gives a decent amount of info about your traffic and its inputs. Another is Google Trends that can show the relative volume of your special sauce over time.


Kare AndersonKare Anderson // @Twitter

My number 1 small business marketing tip is to forge smart partnerships with complementary businesses that serve the same kind of customers as you do to offer a more seamless service and/or gain access to each other’s best customers and/or otherwise leverage more value and visibility together.

Here is more info about the strategy I use which help attract more customers while spending less.


Keri JaehnigKeri Jaehnig // @Twitter

Small businesses need to up their game in 2016 and be more creative with their branded content.  If you look at the most recent developments on social platforms, the social landscape is begging for video.

More specifically:

Live video!  Facebook just released “Facebook Live,” after success with video ads.  Technology even speaks to more opportunity for video.  A cool example is Movi ( — A new, groovy gadget by Livestream, designed especially for use on it’s platform with other capabilities too.

What is the advantage of video for small businesses?

It allows for a more intimate exchange with fans and followers.  In turn, the results from online social interaction move a bit quicker due to the face-to-face value.  It nurtures the know/like/trust factor needed for people to feel comfortable becoming customers.

Tips are like potato chips – Their more fun in multiples…

I’m also noticing a trend of results from groups and communities – Especially those that offer exclusivity.  Small businesses can really use this opportunity to nurture relationships with customers and target markets by creating an environment of high personal interaction and responsiveness.

Create an alcove for key advocates, test new products and services, and even build energy for project launches.  The options are limitless, and it is what you make of it!


Michael BrennerMichael Brenner // @Twitter

My best small business marketing tip to help small businesses gain more market awareness and higher sales is to focus on publishing your expertise. Your sales, customer service, product teams, and more are all answering customer questions every day.

Turn that expertise into content you can publish online and you will attract new buyers instead of trying to buy or interrupt their attention through expensive advertising.

As a small business owner myself, I built an audience on my own site for 5 years before building a business around it by sharing tips from a “Marketing Insider’s” point of view.

The main inspiration for my articles comes from the questions I get from my own customers and industry insiders.

Some of my best posts answer questions like “what is thought leadership?” what are some “great examples of companies doing content marketing well?” and more.

I’ve looked to great examples from other small businesses like MozOpenView Venture PartnersBuffer and many more.

I’ve proven for many small business clients that sharing your expertise in the form of thought leadership content marketing is the best way to generate a return on marketing.

And if you’ll forgive the shameless plug, I even wrote a book about it to help any business reach, engage, and convert new customers through content marketing.


Michael X. HeiligensteinMichael X. Heiligenstein // @LinkedIn

Don’t be afraid of external links.

Phobia of external links is one of the most common mistakes I see websites make. Linking to lots of spammy or unrelated sites is bad, sure, but linking to relevant content can only improve your search results.

Some of our top-performing articles include dozens of external links – Google loves curated lists like Press Release Examples From the Pros, for instance.

You can even take this a step further and use external links as a conversation starter. Too many failed attempts at link building simply ask for a link without something clear to offer in return.

By linking to someone in an article, you’ve already given them something of value and are on great footing to start a conversation about how both of you can continue to help each other.


David WaringDavid Waring // @Twitter

The key to small business marketing is focus. There are so many great distribution channels out there: organic SEO, PPC advertising, Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, and a dozen more growing sites and apps.

You might feel compelled to dabble in all of these, but for a small business owner, that’s a big mistake.

You have limited time and money, and if you split your efforts ten different ways you’re likely to fail across the board.

Instead, identify the 1-2 avenues that are most relevant to your business, and focus on those. You’re much more likely to succeed if you dedicate yourself to succeeding in the areas that work best for your business.

How should small businesses decide what social media channel is best for them?

We recommend Facebook as a starting point, since their userbase dwarfs their rivals and includes audiences the other sites barely scratch, especially in the 30+ crowd.

For B2B businesses, we recommend LinkedIn. Though certain businesses might also consider platform like Pinterest or Twitter, depending on their product and their audience.


Michael KawulaMike Kawula // @Twitter

Twitter marketing is a sure fire way for any small business owner to market their business effectively and successfully, even if you have virtually no budget.

If you want Twitter to send you consistent business, before you jump in and do the first recommendation below, you need to cover some of the basics.

1) Go make sure you have a great Twitter cover photo that either has a call-to-action on it or builds up your authority when someone is looking at you for the first time and don’t know who you are.

2) Create a great Twitter bio that is personal and can really connect with someone.

3) Make sure you have your URL inserted and that it pointed to an area that will want to cause someone to either connect with you or opt-in for an offer you have.

4) Include in the location area your location to help you show up in Twitter search for those that search by location.

5) Pin a Tweet to the top of your Twitter feed that has compelling copy for someone to want to click and either opt-in for something of value or visit your website.

Now that the basics are covered, the first thing you need to do is create your customer avatar if you haven’t done so already.

Think about what authors does your type of customer read, what blogs do they follow, what podcasters do they listen to, who are the influencers they follow on Twitter, what conferences do they attend?

Now go and find the Twitter handle for each of those answers or for the conferences, find the hashtag.

Now go and create a Twitter list and add each of those Twitter handles to a Twitter list and make sure that daily you look at that list and engage with those on it.

Next go to Twitter advanced search and plug in those Twitter handles or hashtags.

Start following those people who are sharing or engaging with those Twitter handles or events content. When appropriate jump in and start a conversation with those people.

If you did the basics covered above well, people will come back and look at your profile and many will not only follow you, but you have a higher probability that many of them will also click on your pinned Tweet or link in you profile to learn more about you.

Tweeting regularly daily and spending just 10 minutes each day following these marketing tips will create consistent business for you. If you’d like to use more aggressive Ninja tips on Twitter, check out this guide for more ideas [click here].


Anne HowardAnne Howard // @Twitter

My number 1 small business marketing tip is to position yourself as an expert in your field with well-crafted blog posts and build your reputation. Once you are on solid ground, reach out to trade publications and write an original byline article for their publication.

PR is so important to build reputation and credibility.

I will give you a personal business example.

In order to build my personal brand as a Tech PR Professional, I offered to Vator News’s editor to cover tech news as a regular contributor for a number of years.

You may read my contributions here.


Writing for Vator News has resulted in an almost overnight increase of my business by 20% of my yearly income. It has been a great way to increase my branding, build my reputation and my credibility to potential clients.

Writing byline articles or getting published is a most effective PR tool.


Robert BradyRobert Brady // @Twitter

Make sure your social media presence is solid. If you have a profile (whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, or whatever) have it be current with recent posts.

You don’t need to do all of them, but the ones you do you should do well. Then give people ways to contact you so that you get the sale.

Sarah RobinsonSarah Robinson // @Twitter

My #1 tip for small business marketing this year is focus on creating a community for your customers and clients.

By creating a real and/or virtual gathering place, you add value to their lives and you set your self apart from your competitors in a meaningful way. Here are three ideas to get you moving:

1) Host an IRL or virtual gathering that is completely focused on connecting your customers to each other. Do some research in advance so you can make introductions like this “Janice, I’d like you to meet Sonya. I’ve talked to both of you about _______ (a common something) and I think you would enjoy getting to know each other.

You have to facilitate early connections and conversations so the community feels valuable.

2) Give community members something your regular customers don’t get. This is about more than discounts and loyalty card punches; every small business worth it’s salt is offering a version of that.

I’m talking about something that is highly valued like a conversation with an expert, a full-sized product or service (not a free sample) or highly targeted content that speaks to solving members’ most pressing needs and challenges.

3) Create value and give, give, give to your community members before you ever ask them for anything. Resist the temptation to go into your community building efforts with a “they will owe me” mindset.

No matter how well you think you are camouflaging it, your members will sense it will sabotage all of your efforts and your future success.


Susan PaytonSusan Payton // @Twitter

Guest blogging is a fantastic strategy for small business owners to establish their expertise and send traffic to their websites. I suggest establishing relationships with a handful of high-quality sites that target your audience and contributing an article a month on each.

It’s well worth the energy to research each site and come up with unique topics no one else has covered. Own a niche!

I’ve been guest blogging for years, and it’s one of my top referrers for new business for my marketing firm. Because I blog at top-tier publications like Forbes and AllBusiness, I also attract the people who read those publications.

It’s always a delight when someone reaches out, saying they’ve read one of my articles and want to hire my firm.


Wendy WeissWendy Weiss // @Twitter

My #1 tip for small business marketing to increase sales is: Talk to prospects and customers on the telephone.

No matter where one finds a lead, whether a referral or a marketing lead or social media or networking… All paths lead to a telephone conversation.

I recently worked with a small business owner whose company was doing everything they could think of to drive leads and make sales… They did SEO for their website and content marketing and social media and email marketing… They did no telephone prospecting at all.

They came to me because their pipeline was empty. This is what my client had to say 2.5 weeks into a telephone prospecting campaign:

“Over the years we’ve tried many, many avenues to build our business, among them driving traffic to our web site and email marketing. Our phones did not ring. Now potential clients are calling us back. In just two and a half weeks of implementing your telephone prospecting recommendations, we already have two solid companies in our pipeline!”

Robert Landsfield, President
Skymira LLC


Yvonne DiVitaYvonne DiVita // @Twitter

#1 Tip for Small Business Marketing This Year

Get out of the chair! Get out of the house! Get out of your own way! Yes, I know everyone is flocking to social. Everyone wants an Instagram account and a Facebook page or a Twitter page and get me started on Pinterest!

Most people are too focused on FOMO (fear of missing out). We share cute videos and inspirational sayings and think we’re making progress because we have 1000 friends on Facebook.

But, few if any of those 1000 friends see that shared video, and fewer still share it for you.

There is ONE important thing all those social channels have in common, that today’s small business professional is losing focus of – and that’s the personal people factor. They don’t have it. Your out of the office meetings do.

If you sit home and share, share, share…you’re not making friends, you’re making acquaintances. All those inspirational wall plaques you’re sharing, they’re wasting my time.

When you push content at me, day after day, it doesn’t make you memorable, it makes you a nuisance.

Stepping out of your office, out of your building, out of your driveway or parking lot, to attend a networking event or conference introduces you to real people; dozens of folks who are there to meet you…and everyone else in attendance because the topic is important to them.

No doubt, they are all open to partnering or sharing ideas, or they wouldn’t be there. In person events help increase your network of contacts in a more personal way than any social channel ever will.

Each person you meet IRL (in real life) is your chance to share your concerns about running a small business in a caring, educational way by asking questions; opening yourself to comments; sharing a book or recent news article you’ve read. Social can’t achieve this because social is impersonal and random.

I repeat – get out of the house and have coffee with someone new this week. For all you know that person could be the next Steve Jobs and he will remember you…over all his friends on social, because you had coffee together, and you talked face-to-face.


Zane SafritZane Safrit // @Twitter

Small business marketing begins and ends with the members of your organization. It is you who deliver the brand’s promise or fail to do so.

Invest in recruiting, hiring, training, coaching and  leading the best members in the best manner possible and you have a sustainable, self-correcting marketing machine that generates the most efficient marketing plan in the world: word-of-mouth marketing from not one source but two.

The first is the traditional source: your customers so impressed with you they tell all their friends.

The second is one less-recognized: your employees. They tell all their talented, skilled, motivated friends to join the organization knowing their careers and happiness and workday is dependent on hiring only the best.

You’ll generate more leads, higher conversion rates, faster sales growth and solidly positive cash flows as you grow a sustainable, inspiring work culture.


Leonard KimLeonard Kim // @Twitter

As a small business owner, having an online presence is absolutely essential. Otherwise, how are people going to discover who you are?
Your focus should be set on location based marketing and optimization.

Sure, you may think that sites like Foursquare are a joke, but did you know that they are integrated into Twitter’s check in platform?

Just the other day, I went to a dessert place called Cotton Hi. I wanted to check in and show all my 67,000 twitter followers where I went to get this cool dessert with cotton candy on top of my ice cream.

What did they end up seeing?

Just the picture.


Because they had not set up their location on Foursquare.

Another time, I wanted to drive to another small business location. I put it into my Apple maps and tried to get there. I ended up on the wrong side of the freeway.

Your location data on these navigation platforms, that aren’t only in your phone, but on any car integrated with Yelp… If it isn’t accurate, then people will not be able to find your business.

As a business owner who operates a small business, you need to steadily focus on everything from FourSquare, Yelp, Facebook places, Google locations and so forth.

Once you have the locations set up, you need to continually audit them every three to six months to make sure they are still accurate.

Then you need to add as much convincing copy as possible that describes not only what your location does, but who it caters to so the search engines work in your favor.

Without optimizing your location data, you have no chance of survival with your business through the digital age.


How much did you enjoy the 39 Small Business Pros Share their #1 Small Business Marketing Tip?

A huge thanks from us to all the expert small business marketers who helped make this post the minefield of information that it is. City Print Design is a Gold Coast Printing Company that offers business card and flyer printing to the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

Share your feedback with us and add your comments in the section below and don’t forget to mention who is your favorite answer and why.

Appreciate your shares too!


12 thoughts on “Small Business Marketing: 39 Small Business Pros Share their #1 Tip

    1. City Print Post author

      Thanks for taking part, much appreciated.

    1. City Print Post author

      We appreciate you taking the time to write something up for us.

  1. Yvonne DiVita

    I love meeting new, smart people via great lists like this. I will be devouring it all weekend! So proud to be among intelligent men and women making it happen in their businesses!

    1. City Print Post author

      Glad this is of use to you Yvonne

    1. City Print Post author

      You are very welcome, thanks for the share.

    1. City Print Post author

      Thanks for taking part Heather and thanks for the shares.

  2. Kare Anderson

    City Print cleverly cited tips for small business owners from 39 of us, thus generating visibility for their business and us contributors + and value for their prospects and customers.

    Hint: this and other kinds of Smart Partnerships are often the least expensive, most effective way to pull in key stakeholders rather than pushing at them — and they can work for any kind and size of organization. Congratulations City Print for setting a shining, scalable example for those you seek to serve and for many others around the world

    1. City Print Post author

      Thanks for the great comments Kare, so very true.

Comments are closed.