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Marketing, Small Business Spotlight

Georgia Small Business Week: Marketing Advice for Beginners

In preparation for Georgia’s small business week, Kabbage asked small business owners to give their insights on starting and succeeding in the small business world. Small business owners from all over responded, bringing a diverse range of experience and answers. In order to be a tool for Georgia, as well as nationwide, entrepreneurs, Kabbage has included their responses below. Kabbage also highlights Brittany Lane of Dream Beard, a local small business in Acworth, Ga.

What marketing advice would you give to someone just starting their business?

“Just because a certain kind of marketing works for one business doesn’t mean it will work for yours. If you see businesses like yours throwing a lot of money into one kind of marketing, try going another direction so you’re not competing so hard for the same people. Look for other avenues.” – Georgia local small business owner Brittany Lane, Dream Beard

“My advice to a new entrepreneur would be to avail themselves of the many free classes, counseling sessions, and other resources available courtesy of the Small Business Administration. Had I known about them fivs years ago, I truly believe that my business would have grown more quickly than it did.” – Julie Shipley, The Soup Shop

“Don’t spend money on advertising early on. You can get new clients/customers via free organic methods. When you start, you are cash poor but time rich.” – Kean Graham, MonetizeMore

“Don’t be afraid to try new things.”  Ian Naylor, AppInstitute

“In terms of marketing advice, I am a big believer in the power of networking. Cultivating an online presence, building profiles on sites like LinkedIn, and volunteering your expertise to publications that will propel you into the public eye are all critical steps in marketing both yourself and your brand. But don’t limit yourself to web networking. Visit conferences and mixers. … Getting face-time with people in your industry or satellite industries is a highly effective way of establishing yourself as someone who has credibility and brings value to the table.” – Kimberly Barnes, ContentPark

“Make a realistic marketing budget and schedule then stick to it. Do your research on marketing. Every type of marketing isn’t beneficial for every business.” – Mandi Dowsey, Waxuality

“Implement a recurring revenue model! Many different types of businesses are implementing recurring revenue models because investors like them much better than transactional based business. Why? Because they’re generally more predictable and easier to scale.” – Blake Davis, Long Drive Agency

“The best marketing advice ever is to focus on authenticity. Be yourself, be true. Don’t package your message in a way that you think sounds good to the masses. Present your brand in an authentic way, in order to effectively connect with those you’re trying to reach. Consumers are craving relationships and integrity from those they choose to do business with.” – Carrie Seibert, Soap Commander

“Have both a short term and a long term strategy. At the beginning we were hyper focused on the long term and didn’t do a good enough job at creating short term revenue. That short term revenue would have allowed us to better outsource some tasks that we didn’t want to do, or simply were not very good at.” – Mark Aselstine, Uncorked Ventures

“You don’t have to execute flawlessly. But make sure above all else that you are solving a problem – no matter how small it may be – and solve it really, really well.” – Carrie Wood, Lease Ref

“If you’re an online company, get familiar with the basics of SEO. Then, research and hire a proficient firm or hire in-house. Even if you’re an online company selling products strictly online, don’t lose sight of typical marketing practices: Relationship building with your target markets such as B2B brick and mortars.” – Vu Tong, Cocoweb

“Save up and hire a professional. They are worth every penny. They can make your website look amazing, your social media look great and give you a perfect brand voice, and they often work tirelessly to make sure you’re climbing the Google rankings which ultimately leads to tons of customers. This all frees up my time to work on the actual business/service side, which I love.” – Gerardo Mena, AAA Fast Construction

“Do not focus on brand-building. That’s secondary when you’re starting out. Focus on getting a direct response from every marketing message you put out, so you can measure ROI and grow. When you have a message that works to bring in more money than you spent on it, stick with it. Try to figure out why it worked for you, and how you can amplify those qualities. Test everything.” – Drew Cerullo, Better Profit Growth

“Create a list of small marketing actions you can do on a routine basis – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly. Example actions would include: post a testimonial to Facebook, request a review from one client today, take a photo with a customer today, write a blog post today. Set up a schedule and put these actions into your calendar, so they are not overlooked. Incremental marketing actions over time will generate leads and sales for your business.” – Russ Frazier, Visigility

“Marketing is such a broad and extensive field that one needs to get familiar with the actual concept first, and there is a lot to read and study there. But even more than that, as a first tip, a marketing research is the first step for sure. Knowing who is your marketing target is crucial to start any business. Everything you do will reflect back to your target and consequently to your own pocket.” – Debora Balardini, PUNTO Space, Nettles Artists Collective, Group .BR

“Hire an experienced marketing consultant. When you hear chatter such as, ‘It takes 3-5 years to profit in your business,’ it is no joke. Visibility and branding are key to your rise to the top. Make sure your message is consistent with logo, social media, print, website, t-shirts and even the decals on your vehicles. I also recommend choosing a name that is catchy and recognizable. I made that mistake and ended up rebranding last year!” – Tanya Kelly, RocSite

“As far as marketing goes, my best advice is to track everything. If an ad isn’t working and you don’t really know it, money is being thrown out the window. By using tracking numbers in the ads, you’ll get exact numbers of phone calls generated for each individual ad. Keep or increase the good and stop the bad. Works for me every time!” – Barry Williams, Williams Lifts

Kabbage is a small business loans provider that quickly connects small business with capital. Our technology platform reviews data generated by dozens of business operations to instantly understand a small business’s performance and deliver fast, flexible funding entirely online. 

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Kabbage Team

Kabbage is here not only to provide access to the small business funding you need, but to also help you grow your business through free marketing tips, webinars, tools and more. Is there something you'd like us to cover or want to get your small business featured on our blog? Send us a note at content@kabbage.com.