Successful Small Business Marketing Online – 4 Things to Know Before You Even Begin

If you’re just getting started in marketing your small business online, you might be feeling overwhelmed by all the different tools and techniques available. With so many opportunities at your fingertips, enthusiasm can quickly turn into a feeling that you’re in over your head.But just like when building anything new, your online marketing plan should start with a sound foundation.Technology might be changing rapidly, but the fundamental ways we communicate have remained steady. Before jumping into the thick of Internet marketing, slow down and go back to basics.There’s no point in learning about software, SEO, or the latest social media tool if you don’t first understand a few time-honored principles of effective communication.1. Know Your Purpose:Before you begin any small business marketing effort, you need to know why you are doing it. Begin by considering your overall purpose for being in business. Marketing successfully takes a lot of work, so remaining aware of your driving purpose will help you stay motivated. From there, each individual marketing step you take should have a specific purpose that aligns with your big-picture vision.2. Know Your Audience:Marketing your small business online gives you the opportunity to present your message to a huge audience. But who are the people you really want to reach? It is your job to know enough about your target market that you can speak directly to their needs. Though it’s tempting, addressing the masses only serves to dilute the impact of your message.3. Know Your Message:Are you able to tell people exactly what you can do for them? For your online marketing plan to work, your messaging needs to be perfectly clear. The last thing you want to do is confuse people. The individuals you can help should be able to follow, understand and connect with your message.4. Know Yourself:When you have your own business, you are your company’s greatest asset. Begin by being aware of your strengths and limitations. And craft your marketing message around the unique value you bring to your business. Don’t be afraid to reveal your personality and share your opinions. Remember, people want to work with a real person. The more authentically you present yourself and what you can offer, the more genuine connections you will make.As a small business owner, if you know your purpose, audience, message, and yourself, you’re actually a lot further along than most people who dive into online marketing. So start with this basic knowledge, and build your effective communication plan on a solid foundation.