What Story Are You Telling About Your Business?

What Story Are You Telling About Your Business?

As an independent retailer, you already know that to be successful you have to do more than simply sell “stuff.” But, how do you tell your unique story and connect with the people who aren’t yet your customers, and how do you know what information will resonate with them? Your local customers know your story and your focus on helping people live more fulfilling lives, but what about the larger community around you, or visitors to town? If you aren’t also reaching these people, you are missing a large opportunity to interact and build your story (and brand) with potential customers.

Return on Community Investment

Return on Community Investment

Your business is part of a community—geographically, socially, spiritually—and your success as an independent retailer depends on keeping that community engaged. Earning its admiration and loyalty takes more than social media posts and a great business plan. Today’s competition comes from every direction—other brick and mortars, online stores, Amazon, and more. What inspires people to shop with you and open their wallets a bit wider is challenging, but connecting with the causes they support is one way that pays off—for them, for the causes they support, and for you and your store.

Investing Your Advertising Dollars

Marketing Mondays - Investing Your Advertising Dollars

While there are many free and low-cost ways to market your business, there comes a time when you have to pay to market and support your business. To be sure, advertising is not inexpensive, but if thoughtfully considered as part of an overall marketing and business plan, it can be very profitable for any business. The challenge, as with any marketing strategy and tactic, is to know where to invest your advertising dollars.

Always "Be Prepared" for Holiday Sales

I was a girl scout for many years, an experience that gave me many fond memories and probably started me on my road to becoming an entrepreneur—I won the Cookie-Selling Award every year! The Girl Scout “Be Prepared” motto is explained in the 1947 Girl Scout Handbook: “A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency.” I believe this applies to all of us in retail, whether you were a Girl Scout or not. Do not put off holiday planning. It is never too early to “Be Prepared”!

Who Likes You Now?

Who Likes You Now?

Are your customers inspired and entertained when they visit your store? Do they appreciate your sales associates’ knowledge about the products you sell? For most successful retailers, the answer to both questions is yes. What happens when your customers move online? Do your website and social media profiles project the same sense of fun and product knowledge as your brick-and-mortar store?

Line Up Your Ambassadors!

Marketing Mondays - Line Up Your Ambassadors!

Big brands and designers know the power of celebrity endorsements. You don’t need to have a big budget or live in Hollywood to get that same type visibility. What you need are ambassadors.

Rally your troops

Every town, big and small, has their annual galas and balls. Who attends those events regularly or seems to always get into the society section of the local newspaper? Seek those people and ask them if they’d like to be one of your ambassadors.

Into the Blogosphere

Marketing Mondays - Into the Blogosphere

Most print magazines, local newspapers, and television and radio news outlets have an online division where they share articles and news segments digitally, in addition to having many more stories available behind paywalls.

However, another important and equally influential form of media coverage that should be on your radar is blogs.

Optimize Your Press Relations

Marketing Mondays - Optimize Your Press Relations

In last week’s Marketing Mondays post, we focused on what stories reporters are looking for and different ways to deliver that information to them. Now comes the harder part: finding out who to send your information to and convincing that person to respond to your story idea. Honestly, though, this isn’t as hard as it sounds. In reality, it’s like any other kind of relationship: You have something you’re excited about, and you want to share it with others because you think it will benefit them, too.

Marketing Comeback Kids

Marketing Mondays - Marketing Comeback Kids

Remember when we were told email marketing would mean the death of direct mail? And Facebook posts would replace email marketing? Surprise! Both direct mail and email newsletters are very much alive and well. Actually, it’s not that surprising considering we all consume information in different ways.

If you’ve abandoned your direct mail or email newsletter, you may want to reconsider. If you still use either or both, this year’s goal is to ramp it up.

Jumpstart Your Business Blog

Marketing Mondays - Blogging

Blogging for your business is a great way to let your customers learn more about you, create dialogue with them, share your knowledge, establish yourself as an expert, and increase your SEO ranking. So why aren’t more business owners blogging, especially when free and easy-to-use programs such as WordPress and Blogger exist? Because it takes time to come up with great content for a blog. But, you don’t need to dread posting because you feel you don’t have anything to say and you can minimize your blogging time investment … if you plan ahead.


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