(image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
One of the many benefits of starting my own business is that, while I have a couple of individuals who are assisting me with research and lead generation, I am the one developing, researching, and launching any marketing activities to create awareness of and grow my consulting business.
As you would expect, like most strong marketing professionals, I worked my way up from more junior marketing positions to more senior ones. Despite having earned an M.B.A. — where I focused on marketing electives such as marketing research, product strategy, advertising, and marketing operations — I hadn’t studied marketing as an undergrad or worked in marketing prior to my graduation from B.U.’s Graduate School of Management; I had to pay my dues at the ground level. But, I welcomed it and am glad I had the experience, so I could learn all the “ins and outs” of both traditional and digital marketing and communications.
There is definitely great value in being the one who has to do the hands-on work of using a web site content management system to launch new pages, of establishing a social media profile/page in Twitter or Facebook, or of writing ad copy for Google paid search/pay-for-click advertising. While as Digital Marketing Manager at a health plan, I was very involved in all the details of digital/online activities, served as digital champion and sought senior leader buy-in to embrace the new and growing world of social and digital media, once I was promoted to director, I found myself more removed from all the intricacies of online presence and more involved in strategy/bigger picture decisions. While as Principal of Results, I’ll always need to determine and drive my business’ strategy, I’m glad to be back in the trenches getting my hands dirty implementing marketing tactics.
Having to launch and oversee Results’ day-to-day online activities myself has been a great hands-on refresher course. Constant Contact continues to improve its offerings and tools for small businesses, and things in the world of social media and online advertising are ever-evolving, so it’s been both interesting and educational to be involved in online activities from start-to-finish. It’s been great to have to reacquaint myself with and consider just how does a company improve its rankings among search engine results (something I thought of all the time in the aforementioned Digital Marketing Manager position)? It had been a while since I thought about SEO (search engine optimization), but thinking about it related to my own business and well as a commercial real estate firm client has been a fabulous reminder of all the many variables, such as social media presence, links to and from your web site, and key word tagging of web pages, that impact search ranking results on Google and Bing.
In addition, investigating advertising and business development opportunities to grow my own business has reminded me of all the collateral, information, and support tool needs of a sales force and the very hard, as well as creative work required, to develop and maintain customers. And, it has caused me to revisit more traditional advertising opportunities available to smaller businesses that I employed in the years when I oversaw marketing activities for a community bank, such as local publication and movie theater advertising.
I am really enjoying the journey of both learning what’s new and familiarizing myself with old tactics and tools, and I believe it will only enhance what I can bring to small business clients, and start-ups, in particular. I’ll be up-to-speed on what it takes to launch a business, create awareness, generate sales, and eventually grow revenues because I’ll have built a house, renovated it along the way, and hopefully, if I’m successful, will be able to put on some additions. I look forward to helping small business owners see their dream home come to life!