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5 Ways of Marketing Your Small Business Effectively

One of the major problems businesses have is marketing. Marketing entails that you put your products or services in front of the right audience and persuade them to buy from you. How you market your business will determine its success.

 

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Small businesses now have available marketing strategies that can help them grow. However, just like every good strategy you’ll enjoy the full benefits when you are consistent. To help your small business market effectively, I have put together 5 ways you can get started with right now.

  1. Create quality content in your blog

I can’t stress enough the importance of owning a blog. Unfortunately, small businesses aren’t taking full advantage of consistently creating blog posts that their audience will find valuable.

You can produce high quality content that will position you as an expert in your industry or share stories about how your business, product or service changed the lives of your clients. Evergreen content that contain tips, tricks and hacks that your audience will find handy make amazing content you can put on your blog.

Great content consistently it makes your target audience keep coming back. Strategically putting out content will help to increase the visibility of your small business. In the long run, you are consistently marketing your business as well as building relationship with your audience who are your potential clients and creating trust.

 

  1. Invest in email marketing

The email marketing strategy is about collecting the email addresses of your potential clients and marketing your business and offers via email.

It starts off by creating a resource that your audience will find valuable. This resource is called a lead magnet. It could come in form of an eBook, a mini course or a checklist. The essence of the lead magnet is to give it out for free in exchange for the email address of your target audience. Once you have their emails, you can send out periodic emails giving more value and marketing your business.

 

  1. Try video

Videos are so much easier to consume and they work as a great way of marketing your business. Just the same way you create quality content for your blog, create valuable content on video. Since it’s easier to consume more people will be drawn to watch your videos.

There are so many kinds of content you can create for the videos. For example, you can show a behind-the-scenes of how you run your business to help create trust in your brand. You can also conduct interviews with your clients and ask them about their experiences with your business, products or services. And of course, you can advertise your offers on video.

 

  1. Leverage on social media

Most, if not all, of your potential clients are on social media. Social media creates a level playing ground to build relationship with your target audience. Use it as a means to connect with them, ask feedback about your offers and help them out with their problems or give them great advice.

If you have some money to invest, you can expand your reach with ads. This will help you connect with more people faster.

 

  1. Collaborate with complementary businesses

One marketing strategy that few small businesses use is collaboration. When you collaborate with a business that has a larger reach or client base than you, you are indirectly marketing your business to an already established target market.

Collaboration can come in different forms like a joint sale, promo or package. The best part about it is that both you and the business you collaborate with get to enjoy the benefits of the collaboration.

 

 

 

 

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3 Finance Tips for the Self-Employed

Being self-employed is amazing. It is one of the best things I have ever done. I really can’t imagine working for anyone ever again. It feels liberating to be able to dictate the pace in which I work. And being able to work from home whilst care for my growing kids is a blessing. I am super thankful everyday for this amazing life I have been blessed with.

 

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Having said that, managing the finances can be a little tricky when you are self-employed. Especially when you are dealing with clients that never pay your invoices on time. I have had to put on my accountant hat to keep my business thriving. For those who do not know, I have a degree in Accounting (graduated university in 2006) but only practised for 1 year. The story surrounding that is a whole new blog post for another day.

Here are some finance tips I have picked up in my self-employment journey.

 

Be Careful with Credit

As a self-employed person, you need to be very careful with credit, especially credit cards. You may find it super easy to shop on your credit cards, especially when you are dealing with late payments and need to survive. If you must get some kind of credit to survive, make sure you understand the payment terms and don’t get carried away with spending money that isn’t yours.

If you have to deal with unforeseen circumstances and need quick money, a company like Cash Lady could come in handy. This company helps customers to find short-term finance solutions. So they are good for when your boiler or car break down, or when you need money quickly for urgent home improvements.

 

Keep Records

I am always on top of my records. Leaving it all until the end of the tax year will stress the life out of me. So I make a note of money coming in and going out.

Sending invoices is a great way to keep track of your money. I always send out an invoice for every project I work on. Even if the client does not request one. I need it for my books, so I get invoices sent out for my records.

 

Claim the Expenses

When filing my tax return, I make sure I claim every expense. This advice also links back to the keeping records tip. I always keep track of every expense, all year round. This makes it easier for me to claim the right amount of expenses. If you are not sure what you could claim as an expense, here is a detailed list of all expenses the self-employed are allowed to claim.

 

I hope you find these finance tips useful. If you have any finance tips for the self-employed, please share in the comments section below.

 

*Collaborative post.

How to Check, Chase and Choose as a Freelancer

Being a freelancer is great, but like every business it does have its challenges. One of the main challenges we face as freelancers is when clients don’t pay for our services. It can be frustrating at times when you put in so much work only to spend hours chasing a payment.

Thankfully there is a 3 step process to help with this freelancing issue – the Check, Chase and Choose. In this article I will walk you through what the 3 Cs are and how you can use them.

 

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What brought about the 3Cs?

A study was conducted on freelance web designers and it was discovered that 6 out of 10 of them had to wait for months past their invoice due date to get paid. And some didn’t get paid at all. Oftentimes such freelancers had to write-off such payments. At the end of the day, all effort put into the freelance project ends up to be a waste of time. Which amounts to a huge loss for the freelancer.

Although this study was only conducted on freelance web designers, there is a high chance that there are so many other freelancers in various industries facing the same problem. Some freelancers are forced to borrow money to be able to feed themselves and pay their bills.

The only way out of this massive issue is be extremely vigilant and proactive when the client seems to delay payment.

 

Step #1 Check

Although the case is not the same with every freelancer, one of the reasons why some freelancers are paid long after the due date on their invoices is because their clients experience a hitch with their invoices. Either the client ends up not receiving an invoice or the invoice is not produced when the project commences. Most times freelancers will interpret silence from the client’s end as “all is well” only to find out the contrary.

In such an instance, as a freelancer you must check back with the client to find out if your client received the invoice. You should also check the client is aware of the due date. The sooner you check on your client the better. Don’t let a week pass by without checking in on your client to find out if they received their invoice or if they experienced hitches. This will save you from future payment issues.

You should also ensure the invoice is produced in the right format in order to avoid payment delays.

 

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Step #2 Chase

Once you have confirmed that your client received their invoice, the next thing you need to focus on is chasing after your money. This stage is all about reminding your client of the payment date. And the options you have by right to recover your money from your client.

When you are approaching your payment date, make sure that you remind your client about the payment date. Especially if your payment date states within 30 days. Some clients may have forgotten all about you.

If your client delays payment to the last day, alert your client on the actions you can take against him or her for your payment.

 

Step #3 Choose

If after all the notices and warnings your client has still not paid, the next step to take is to choose any of the options available to you to recover the money your client owes you. The most common action is to sue your client for the payment of your fees.

This is why it is extremely important to have a freelance contract with your client. In the contract your rights and duties as well as the rights and duties of your client are clearly written. It makes it so much easier to take action for the recovery of your fees when you have a legal contract backing you up.

 

Personally, I hardly ever agree to wait 30 days for an invoice to be paid. I feel it is too long and all kinds of things may have happened within those 30 days. I am more comfortable with a 0 – 7 working days payment date. And I get that 96% of the time.

 

How do you deal with unpaid invoices? Please share your tried and tested tips.

 

 

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