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3 Things Your Small Business Can Do to Flex Powerful Marketing Muscles (With Examples)

Peter Steiner is responsible for one of the New Yorker cartoons that I hold in the highest regard.

It depicts a pair of canines. One of them is typing on a computer, and he says to the other one, who is sitting on the floor: “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” (A fun fact about the cartoon is that it has become the New Yorker cartoon that has been reproduced the most.)

This also applies to moderately sized businesses:

Nobody knows that you run a small business if you do business on the Internet

You have access to the same marketing and sales opportunities online as your more established competitors who are larger. This remains the case even if you operate with a more limited spending plan and access to fewer resources.

You, on the other hand, have an opportunity that larger companies do not: you have the passion of an owner or manager who puts their heart and soul into the business. Your more established rivals simply cannot come close to matching that.

It’s possible that comes off as too fluffy—more like a luxury item than a valuable asset for the company. However, in my experience, it is a significant point of differentiation.

So, what does that entail in an operational sense?

The marketing muscles of small and medium-sized businesses can be exercised in three different ways that are surprisingly effective despite their size.

1. Focusing intently on one thing. Too often, the smaller organizations I speak with are plagued by a lack of strategic and operational focus. (This is also true of the larger ones. But it’s a topic that should be saved for another essay.)

So… FOCUS. Don’t squander your marketing efforts by spreading them out across a wide variety of platforms and chances. Concentrate on being insanely excellent at one or two things, and do this regularly.

Especially at this time, I’d want to subscribe to your email newsletter. Here, I outline 11 reasons why it is more vital than ever before for you to have an email newsletter.

Of course, your email newsletter is not the only option available to you. But make your choice carefully.

Exhibit A:

For many years, Brain Pickings was organized around a single weekly email. Although I get quite a lot of email, the Brain Pickings newsletter is without fail one of the few that I look forward to reading each week.

It is significant and important, and it arrives in my email at the ideal time: smack in the midst of the weekend, on Sunday morning. This is intentional, since the Brain Pickings newsletter is meant to be a lengthy and reflective read, which makes it the ideal material for a leisurely Sunday morning.

After 12 years of publishing a Sunday newsletter, Maria Papova of Brain Pickings did not switch gears and launch a webinar program or a podcast; instead, she doubled down on what was already working and published a second newsletter. This allowed her to continue to reach out to her audience in the most effective manner possible.

Wednesday is the publication day for that second bulletin. Even better: since it draws from the extensive archives of Brain Pickings, the content of that newsletter remains relevant indefinitely.

On her website, the following pop-up advertisement may be found:

Takeaway for Marketing: The lesson to be learned here is that sometimes in marketing, we have a tendency to make things more complicated than they need to be. We take a gander at the glittering prospect and wonder: Should we develop an Alexa app? Should we be on IGTV? rather than focusing on providing a superior experience on the platform that makes the most intuitive sense for your target demographic.

Ask yourself: If your audience like the material you provide, you should ask yourself how you can improve upon what you are currently doing or what you already have rather than trying to create something entirely new. How can you take that experience and make it richer or broader rather than starting from scratch with something entirely new?

2. Patience that builds with time. Achieving success in marketing takes time and patience. It takes time to build a successful company.

Focus on the big picture for your company rather than looking at it from quarter to quarter.

When you make choices about your consumers with the long-term connection in mind, you develop partnerships that are more robust and resilient. That, in turn, results in an enterprise that is more sustainable.

This autumn, I’ve been thinking and talking about a slower approach to your marketing that is more sustainable and will persist for a longer period of time. You may catch a glimpse of it in this location.

Exhibit B:

Amanda Todorovich is in charge of overseeing all of The Cleveland Clinic’s content marketing efforts. Todorovich told me that the purpose of the marketing programs for the healthcare organization is not to sell its hospitals so much as it is to serve as a health resource for people who are looking for health information on Google. After that, the goal is to “answer their questions with the best page on the Internet,” Todorovich said.

The following comes from the content marketing firm True North Custom:

“By sharing heart-healthy recipes, exercise tips and the hospital’s view on hot topics like Is It Possible to Become Addicted to Social Media?, the hospital builds trust and long-term relationships that drive brand loyalty. Todorovich says this approach to content marketing requires a commitment to a long-term, consistent strategy that revolves around the audience. She adds that it isn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight.”

Takeaway for Marketing: The lesson to be learned here is that taking a long-term strategy does not always entail getting little or no outcomes. Rather, it entails managing expectations internally as well as determining and expressing your long-term plan. Managing expectations also involves sharing your timeframe. Instead of making assumptions to support your ideas and strategy, base them on evidence instead.

Ask yourself: You should ask yourself whether the choices you make for your company are focused on long-term outcomes that will add up over time.

3. Give me your honest face. Your company’s tone of voice has the potential to be a tremendous differentiator for it. (You can read more about it here.)

And so may your genuine voice on video. Don’t fade into the background in this social world dominated by Instagram and Facebook Live. Do not allow your firm to operate without a public face.

Put yourself in the spotlight and take center stage. Get on video, particularly if you are the owner of the company, the creator of the company, or the key shareholder.

Let your consumers see you. Give them permission to stare into your eyes. Show them that this is a genuine company run by real individuals, each of whom has their own unique personality and perspective on the world.

Exhibit C:

Baking Steel is a small firm run by Andris Lagsdin that is located outside of Boston. The company is in the business of producing and selling flat metal baking surfaces. Because of his goods, the crust of your pizza will be the greatest it has ever been. It’s a fantastic piece of merchandise. (I have a pair.)

The focus is on Andris’s appearance right now: On Instagram. Through the Instagram Stories app. Over at YouTube. When using Facebook. in the weekly email message he sent out.

Andris is well aware that his undeniable enthusiasm for creating the world’s finest pizza crust is not only the engine that keeps the business going, but it is also the factor that motivates his audience to make purchases. You can see and feel his excitement, his passion, and his geeky, magnificent love for good pizza. You can also see that he is committed.

You don’t need to be in everyone’s line of sight (see the previous point). However, you really must be visible in some capacity. Regularly.

Takeaway for Marketing: The lesson here for marketers is to give your consumer a sense of who you are. What you look like. Where you are employed. And what it is like to be in that position.

Ask yourself: A client of yours walks into your business or encounters you at a trade event. Would they know you? Are you humanizing and putting a personal touch on your own business?


You now have an understanding of the concept of obsessive attention. Patience is a slow-burning fire. Your face.

Make an effort to include more of all three into your preparation for 2022.