101 marketing ideas for small business

Each month, we’ll give you REAL marketing ideas for small business that will help you get or better stay in touch with your customers and build your business. Check back every so often to see the new ideas. Not every idea will apply to you, but many will.

1. Ask your clients to take part in a customer satisfaction survey.

Particularly if you’ve been in business for a while, not only can it remind them how much they like you, you might also find new business opportunities you didn’t know were there. And it’s often the case that if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  When we do this for clients in the financial services industry, we often uncover 30-50 opportunities for them. So it can be a very cost effective little marketing tool. Click on the link  above to read how you might go about it.

2. List your business on Google local.

This is very easy and will take you less than 10 minutes. And it will increase your online visibility (think SEO) and help more people find your business – particularly if customers/clients come to visit you.  It’s also a great place to encourage your customers to leave a review, so it’s an easy tool for an effective response.

3. Get onto Twitter (yes, really)

But first find an honest and organic voice for your business online which will endear prospective customers. Yes, lots of people are already using Facebook, but it’s hard to talk business there – especially when feeds are cluttered with photos of cute cats/dogs/kids, etc. Twitter is an awesome platform to engage with potential customers. A client of ours in the serviced office business had a potential client we’d followed, ask to talk to someone about renting space. So, yes it does work as a new business medium – you just have to commit to being in the space. If you’re new to Twitter or you want to get more from it, try this awesome guide by Inc Magazine. It has everything you need to know!

March ideas

4. Give the gift that says I love you.

If you want your client to learn to love you, you have to show them how you feel about them first and woo them. And what better way to declare your ‘love’ than to give your client a little gift. So often we save cards and gifts for things like Christmas or birthdays – when they’re pretty likely to get lost in the sea of cards & gifts. Why not stand out from the crowd and choose another date to celebrate. This year, we chose Valentine’s Day and sent our clients a Valentine’s Day card and chocolates. We even made the occasional husband/wife jealous. Your gifts don’t need to be expensive – just heart felt.

5. Include a call to action.

On every piece of collateral, sales letter, webpage, blog you create and even in every sales meeting – you need to include a call to action (except for your heartfelt gifts). So many people do nice marketing work, only to miss including the very reason for creating it in the first place. Decide what yours could be and create 3-5 versions of it and use it everywhere. If you get bored with it, that’s great, it means you’re using it consistently. But just because you’re bored doesn’t mean it needs changing. Your client probably needs to see/hear it several times before it really sinks in or they’re ready to action it. It doesn’t always need to be a selling call to action – you might ask people to join you on social media. You can join me on Facebook here.

6. Create a low cost trial.

Got something you’d like to sell more of, that people are maybe a little reticent to buy outright? Maybe they’ve been burned before or maybe they’re just not sure it’s for them. By creating a low cost (or not cost in the case of our FREE 30 day SEO trial), you can put people’s minds at ease whilst they see if it’s right for them.


There will be more ideas added to this list each month. Please feel free to share with the community what you’ve used that’s worked in the past below.

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