Why subtle small business marketing works

smart small business marketing requires good writing

Whether you’re looking to increase reach for a mission without monetization; rally support for a service you offer through donations; attract a very select crowd from the masses for high-end coaching services; or seek to sell product you’ve developed as part of your free offerings, there are some great providers doing it better than you.

In previous posts, I ranted a bit about being too loud to be heard while offering ideas on how you can be smarter. Then, I spotlighted four standout examples of free and easy-to-implement ideas you can quickly adapt. Today, I’ll dig a little deeper on takeaways from some of these fun and creative models.

Of course, it depends on what you’re trying to do. Currently, I’m supporting two very different blogs. One is revenue positive; another (this one) not so much. The strategies are very different for each. Appealing to a tight-niche, loyal audience has been lucrative. I’m looking to expand opportunities at that site/business while striving to get traction for this one, which is more general in appeal with many more competitors.

So, the ideas gleaned from the examples below come from two very different perspectives. Maybe some will work well for you.

Wonder of tech

smart small business marketing requires good writingCarolyn offers fabulous, consistent and relevant content. She’s secured a great website name and domain to attract her ideal audience. It’s a simple, easy to navigate site that’s on mission. She’s built a solid reputation and following with avid fans. With the reach and credibility she’s amassed, she’s poised to capitalize.

Interesting takeaways: Carolyn is equally adept at appealing to a novice and geek audience. That’s not easy. She loves tech and immerses herself in it but is still able to present material in a way so the most uninitiated reader can understand but an early adopter can appreciate. She consistently publishes and contributes columns to area print media. Her personality and opinion show through in every post. The website is a great example of professional simplicity.

Now I Know

Dan Lewis has been experimenting with ideas of late I find intriguing. His Patreon campaign is something worth watching. It’s been successful in a short time period. To support it, he’s offering to reduce ads on the e-mailings (curious strategy), mention on his appreciation wall for those at the $5 mark or above and offering deeper content to high level givers. This newsletter has been the fodder of two books, so he’s been doing it for a while. Most probably contribute as a thank you for great free reading over the years.

Speaking of books, Dan’s been clever in how he’s leveraged Amazon and ACX (the company distributing the audio version of his books) to increase income beyond royalties from book sales. Where did the books he’s now selling come from? Prior blog posts.

He’s also adopted a new feature recently with Sporcle quizzes. This is the first time I’ve seen this and intend to explore it for future engagement driving strategies.

In each post, Dan drives people back into his site/blog with a bonus fact and archive feature then adds an affiliate links to related products that naturally relate to the topic (mostly books). It compels the reader who wants to know more explore.

Itty Biz

The recent addition of “I don’t get it Wednesdays” to this newsletter/blog is brilliant. Naomi is able to demonstrate her ability as an industry expert while presenting herself as an understanding, likable mentor. Since her primary revenue steam is coaching, her compelling copy and humor coupled with intuitive content offers a great way for her to illustrate her talents.

Naomi’s today in history feature at the top of the newsletter is a fun way to draw the reader in. You can do this too. It’s easy to find relevant happenings with a number of free calendars – the wit she ads is a bit more challenging. Try day specific or monthly logs depending on your preference   – or simply do a google search.

Each newsletter ends with a quote. You can search the web as needed. I find short quote swipe files easier – filling about 20 pages worth a year culling from my e-mail subscriptions.

Marketing Minute

Marcia provides a simple, timeless and quick to load format. No pictures. The courier type is cute and effective at asserting old school. She’s also held on to an e-mail only subscription option (smart). Ensuring offers are relevant to core content helps drive product purchases. Her new, yet enduring, content comes out on Wednesdays, with no list mining messages during the rest of the week. Products created (including books drawn entirely from newsletter content) are relevant to the editorial content and niche audience. Enticements to buy after every post are a newsletter feature.

Genius ideas are often borrowed

Using creativity to succeed isn’t so much about invention as it is paying attention to what others have already done well. Sure, you need to customize the idea to work for your particular audience and needs, but can save yourself a ton a research time by paying attention to what’s working well for others. You’ll have a lot more fun with your small business marketing if you let others help spur your genius.

Do any of these ideas get you excited? Have great finds of your own you’d like to share? Please add a comment. If you liked this content, look left and click on the social media buttons. Thanks!

Nanette Levin

Writer, author, marketer, public speaker and small business advocate with more than 25 years of experience. Check out some of our affordable introductory deals designed to make it fun and easy for new clients to test results with small projects.

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8 Responses to Why subtle small business marketing works
  1. Michele Bergh
    August 30, 2015 | 2:02 am

    I love your quote about easy reading…it made me giggle. We need to be in the flow to write well and also have a way with words in general….it isn’t easy to be in that space at all on a regular basis. Sometimes life just gets in the way.
    Michele Bergh recently posted..Quotography Link Up: Do the WorkMy Profile

  2. Deborah Weber
    August 30, 2015 | 3:35 am

    This has been a very helpful and interesting series Nanette. I enjoy seeing the examples you’ve chosen and your take on what makes them successful. Savvy and subtle is brilliant.
    Deborah Weber recently posted..The Pull of the Full MoonMy Profile

    • Nanette Levin
      August 30, 2015 | 9:43 pm

      So glad to hear you’ve enjoyed it, Deborah. I so appreciate seeing people market (and express themselves) artfully in a sea of mediocre. Plus, the takeaways as you watch what works well for others is priceless. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Nanette Levin recently posted..Young Horse Training Tip #3: Ride every other dayMy Profile

  3. Elda
    August 31, 2015 | 2:52 am

    I appreciate all of the links in your post so I could check these out. Last week, I did sign up for one you recommended. I am interested in seeing how it pans out for me. Thanks!
    Elda recently posted..The Worst Thing That Has HappenedMy Profile

  4. Harmony Harrison
    August 31, 2015 | 11:40 pm

    Nanette, thank you for these great resources. Do you know of good business resources like this that are specific to artists? (Or perhaps I’m barking up the wrong tree here?) I’d love to know what you’ve already vetted out, as I trust your integrity.
    Harmony Harrison recently posted..There Are No Dogs in this Blog Post (Except for the 63 Dogs Who Snuck In): My obsession with doggie doodles, illustratedMy Profile

  5. Carolyn Nicander Mohr
    September 5, 2015 | 5:21 pm

    Hi Nanette, Wow, thank you very much for your words of praise. You pretty much nailed what I try to do with The Wonder of Tech, share my excitement for fun and useful tech with the world. I write in plain English so everyone can understand what I’m talking about, and get readers who are tech novices and tech experts.

    Thank you so very much for including me as an example of professional simplicity.
    Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently posted..How to Make Sharing from Your iPhone Work Better for You!My Profile

    • Nanette Levin
      September 5, 2015 | 9:24 pm

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting,Carolyn. You do it well and deserve any praise given. Congratulations on your 5th year. I will continue to enjoy and learn from your posts.
      Nanette Levin recently posted..Triple Crown TriviaMy Profile

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