In my previous blog post, I shared my branding 101 basics to launch a startup or small business. In this post, I’m continuing the conversation and shifting from launch basics to growth strategies. Learn about my top five recommendations for growing your new business and customer base. During these COVID-19 times, it’s important to link arms and help one another as we explore new ways to remain viable and valuable to customers.
Ask questions and provide value using social media
At the very top of the growth strategies list is social media. Yes, social media is a growth strategy and not a launch strategy! It’s imperative to share content on your platforms consistently. And the best way to manage this is with an editorial calendar, which I discussed in the launch post. Develop your calendar before you even think about creating a Facebook, Intagram, Twitter, YouTube or LinkedIn profile. My top piece of advice: Choose what works best for your brand. It’s better to have one or two platforms and do them well versus creating five and having outdated content.
Email on auto pilot
Next, think about your email program. It’s an ideal communication channel to reach your target audiences on their terms. Put your program on auto pilot by scheduling emails or newsletters to go out automatically in a sequenced manner. Again, your editorial calendar will inform this. If you have a WordPress site, there’s several plugins to choose from. I use SendinBlue and they have a good industry reputation. Active Campaign and Constant Contact are also popular. Here’s a link for additional options to explore.
Attract, convert, close, delight
In addition to an email program, set up a CRM or customer relationship management system. A CRM allows you to segment your prospects and customers based on their journey with your brand to track growth. Ideally, you want to move them through the process of attract, convert, close and delight. This is often referred to as the Four Pillars of Inbound Marketing. Some business owners also refer to this as moving prospects through the sales funnel. The wide end of the funnel equates to attract and convert; the narrow end means close and delight. And guess what? Once again, your editorial calendar is a key tool for organizing your messaging based on the customer journey. Here’s a Top 10 CRM list for 2020.
A key metric in the ROI arsenal
Growth is captured through ROI or return on investment. How will you know if the time and effort you’re investing in social media and email campaigns is worth it? While both channels often have their own built in metrics, there’s one key tool to put in your arsenal. I’m talking about the granddaddy of them all, Google Analytics, to capture and trend website traffic. Because ultimately, it’s about driving traffic and hang time to your website, right? Below are a few baseline metrics to set up and track:
- Sessions: the number of times a browser (Chrome, Explorer or Edge, Firefox, Safari) is used to view your site
- Pageviews: website pages viewed
- Bounce rate: single page view before a user leaves your site
- New sessions: new users
- Source: where viewers come from via an online source
- Average time on page: time captured on a page
- Device usage: devices viewers use to access your site (mobile, laptop, tablet)
Remember, it’s about one step forward
Lastly, as a solopreneur, I encourage all startups and small businesses to prep for plans B, C and D. Heck, E to the Z when it comes to growth strategies. Go into this prepared to shift, move, pivot, add, delete, fill in and carry on. Because not one day is the same, which defines entrepreneurship. Soak up new knowledge via podcasts and webinars.
Talk to me! What are your greatest concerns for growing your business? How have you found success? We learn from one another so share a challenge or a ‘nailed it’ cheer in the comments section. And as always, you can email me to set up a quick consultation on strategy options.