Small Business Marketing Chat Summary from June 1, 2010

Kicking off this month topic of Small Business marketing. Tonight’s discussion covered ideas about how small businesses can identify, understand and communicate with their customers.

  • We’re on every Tuesday from 8-9 pm EST.  The next chat will be held on June 8, 2010.
  • You can read the instructions on how to participate here: http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
  • Invite others to join in, help them get started.  We started this chat to facilitate conversation between small biz owners.
sbbuzz: Welcome to #sbbuzz, a Tweetchat for the next hour of small biz talking technology on Twitter. Join us! http://sbbuzz.biz/instructions
sbbuzz: Rules: 1)NO pitching till end 2)Be nice 3)Stay ON TOPIC! 4)Send ?s for group to me w/o hashtag 5)Use #sbbuzz in all messages 6)Have fun!
sbbuzz: Start off w/an INTRO: 1 message about you and your business and whatever else we need to know. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Hi folks! I help coaches and other small biz owners write masterful content for newsletters and blogs http://ht.ly/1SMaF (Intro for #sbbuzz
ginabee: Hi, All! Gina w/ writeytidy.com, content creator to the stars…& everyone else! Happy to discuss & learn marketing w/ everyone. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: I?m a web designr/developr @chaostoclarity. I show small biz & freelancers how 2 take advantage of the web. #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Howdy hey! I am a writer, publishing useful information for savvy small business owners. #sbbuzz
decker_chris: I’m a technology professional specializing in web development, social media, and helping people communicate. #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: I’m a search engine optimizer (SEO) running my own small business. First time on this chat. 🙂 #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Hi all – Scott from the Customer Experience team @batchblue. Looking forward to learning a lot from everyone tonight. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: I provide a comprehensive resource for business professionals who want to learn more about online marketing channels #sbbuzz
stellel: Hi! I’m Christelle, Customer Experience @batchblue software. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: Michael Boys, cloud integrator for SMBs #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Hi all, I’m Michelle Riggen-Ransoms and I’m with @BatchBlue, makers of software for small businesses. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Jeff Smith – technology director for @edupros – we help businesses and orgs with teaching and training. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Welcome everyone! I’m Pamela with @batchblue and the hostess of the #sbbuzz chat (iow the one wearing the bee costume)
Zimana_: I am a web analytics marketer, helping small businesses update their websites and online marketing #sbbuzz
smitty1966: We use @BatchBlue at @edupros. Love it! #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Tonight we’re kicking off a month long discussion of small business marketing. Let me know what you want included. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q1 What is the most challenging part of marketing your business? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q1 – Defining the right niche is way up there for me. Until you do, it is hard to market correctly. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @Zimana_ Hi Pierre! Welcome! #sbbuzz
Zimana_: for Q1 @sbbuzz Processing new marketing information and tools not just for me but for helping clients as well. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: new customers other than referrals are VERY expensive to find – turning that marketing into sales #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @bradfordshimp Q1. Agreed. It took us some time to figure out our niche. Things were smoother after we figured it out. #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q1 #sbbuzz Staying focused is hard. Our communications team has so many brilliant ideas, but not enough elves to do them all.
ginabee: Q1 – Defining my market & finding them. Once they’re identified, it’s easier to explain how I can help them. #sbbuzz
scoblitz: @sbbuzz Q1 – For me it was deciding where to best focus my efforts (time and money) until I could get measurable results. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz Q1 Coming up with new ideas that will translate into new customers is always a challenge. And balancing resources… #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1: Focusing on Trends vs. getting stuck on a Fad, is and area I always have to force on my self. #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: Q1 – Finding inexpensive ways outside of the Internet to reach our target market. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @scoblitz I second that. There are so many new options without enuf track record to know what works. So little time. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @TraceyHolinka there are things outside of the internet?? 🙂 #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A1: Social Media Technology is alsoa pain point for me right now. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q2 What are you doing to find your niche? What would you like to learn more about? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q1 – Be sure to know that you actually want to work with the customers that you are trying so desperately to reach. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q1 – Another challenge is finding the time to do any marketing at all when you’re busy actually working your biz. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – Finding your niche is part self-discovery, part-trial-and-error, and perhaps a dash of luck sprinkled on for good measure. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q1-value for $. Focus is key, fostering referals and chosing right channels helps with results. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – I am personally just trying things, seeing what fits. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A2: I am defining my niche based on the audience(s) that need my products and services. W/O customers a product is only an idea. #sbbuzz
Chris_Hendricks: @sbbuzz Q2 What are you doing to find your niche? A2 I ask myself…what am I passionate about #sbbuzz
JoeCascio: @mriggen I know there are many people who need my help. The problem is connecting with them when they’re looking for help. #sbbuzz
mriggen: @sbbuzz We’re kicking off a series of small, in-person events this summer. Enjoy mixing IRL events w/online marketing efforts. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @mentormarketing Amen to that! “W/O customers a product is only an idea.” #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q2 My niche came out of my own professional journey – I started out as a coach, writing my own coaching articles. #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q2 – When everything began fitting together into a bigger picture.That’s *my* niche. Found it by taking work I’m passionate about. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q2 – With my blog, I am able to see which articles are more popular with my readers. Working on turning those into products. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @bradfordshimp Excellent! You’re really responding to your market by doing it that way. Not creating out a vacuum. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q3 How do you measure results? Do those results drive your marketing strategy? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q3 – I have a new way of measuring marketing results – it is called sales. A good result for marketing is new sales. #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: A3 Depends on the tactic, but ultimately, we tie tactics back to customer records so we can see true ROI. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: Q3 It’s sometimes tough to know when to tweak and when to stay with a plan and ride out natural ebbs and flows. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @sbbuzz Q3 Results are measured against objectives whether its sales, traffic, subscriptions. Strategy &tactics change in response #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A3: We measure client satisfaction, Return engagements, and New Sales. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q3 results are striaghtfoward since we are so close to our marketing. Lead conversion means we adapt to what works #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q3 – Good ol’ fashioned testimonials r my results – that & repeat business.Best marketing I can do is referring to satisfied clients #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @ginabee Yes, repeat business and referrals are GREAT measurements of success. #sbbuzz
selahsynergy: @ginabee Great to measure satisfaction. Were you satisfied with the prod/service? Would you tell a friend? #sbbuzz
pmohara: Q3 There are some efforts we measure against sales (new promotions) and some we know are immeasurable (like #sbbuzz)
sbbuzz: Q3 What is your most effective marketing effort? #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q3 – Yes, some results are a definable result of an effort and others are just from putting yourself & your biz out there. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @pmohara Great point about some efforts being immeasurable, or slower (like a newsletter subscriber hiring me after a year!). #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: A3 Word of mouth is by far our best marketing tactic. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @sbbuzz My most effective marketing effort? Consistently producing masterful content, of course 😉 #sbbuzz
ginabee: Q4 – For what I do, the Internet has served me well for marketing. My biz coach still encourages me to do face-to-face too, though. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A4: @janetdmiller I agree WOM is like being handed a sale that is already closed. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Q3- Getting out in front of potential clients. Conferences, shows and workshops. #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: @mentormarketing Absolutely! And I find networking to be key to word of mouth. #sbbuzz
ginabee: @mentormarketing Ain’t it the truth. Ain’t it the truth! #sbbuzz
pmohara: @lindadessau Exactly.. You can’t put a number on community, good will, collaboration, idea sharing and friendship. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: @bradfordshimp how do you systematically tie the sales to specific marketing campaigns #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Q5 What marketing tools & techniques would you like to learn more about? #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @MHBoys Depends. For some, you can track via code. Others, you just ask. Also, you can set up individual web landing pages. #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: A5 I find ad retargeting fascinating. Would like to learn more about mobile and TV as they evolve too (like with Google TV). #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q5 – I would like to learn how to better use Facebook and LinkedIn to bring in sales. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @janetdmiller Good one. Mobile is going to be huge (going to be??) so this is an area we can all learn more about. #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A5: I think it would be good to learn about email platform advanced features, FB pages, Linkedin Q&A these are on my short list. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Q5 – I want to learn more about Apps as marketing. #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: @bradfordshimp I think mobile has amazing potential for local-based businesses too. #sbbuzz
pmohara: @bradfordshimp Google Apps? #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @bradfordshimp Agreed. I’d be interested in learning more about mobile marketing, also. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @janetdmiller I agree. I have a friend who just released a local tourism app that points to all the best places. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @pmohara No, just apps in general (yes, google apps as well). Providing bite sized tools that point the way to a bigger sale. #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks for the ideas, folks. We’ll dig in to these more the next few chats. So be sure to COME BACK! 🙂 #sbbuzz
janetdmiller: I’d also love to learn more about Android apps for marketing. RT @pmohara: @bradfordshimp Google Apps? #sbbuzz
mentormarketing: A5: Article marketing best practices, and a deep dive into picking your content distribution sites. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Where did that hour just go? #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: And somehow it is already what we affectionately call Pitch Time. Please tell us a little about your business. #sbbuzz
MHBoys: think of mobile as an extension of the internet in the short term – make sure all material (and website) are accessible via mobile #sbbuzz
lindadessau: I’m taking a stand for the quality of your content! Read my manifesto at http://bit.ly/content-creation-manifesto (pitch time on #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @chaostoclarity helps small biz & freelancers use social networking/media & the Web to grow their biz #chaostoclarity #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: If you’d like a once-a-week e-mail reminder of #sbbuzz (including the topic) sign up at http://sbbuzz.net #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: Pitch: Releasing my first e-book soon (next week?). I will be giving it away free to email subscribers of http://allbizanswers.com #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: It is on the value of the customer after the sale, testimonials, referrals, second sales, having a follow up plan … #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: Thanks to everyone for great new topic ideas! We’ll get the #sbbuzz summary posted on the site soon at http://sbbuzz.biz
ginabee: Those who do, do. Those who need it put into just the right words contact me: http://www.writeytidy.com #sbbuzz
TraceyHolinka: @bradfordshimp Looking forward to your ebook #sbbuzz
sbbuzz: #sbbuzz is a small business Twitter chat hosted each Tuesday night 8-9 PM ET by the folks from @batchblue Come again soon!
scoblitz: @sbbuzz I’m going to pitch http://freelancecampchicago.org/ on June 26th – would love to connect with folks there if you’re close. #sbbuzz
smitty1966: Learning made easy. We can be found here @edupros. Great chat tonight. Cheers. #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @scoblitz Thinking about heading out that way some time, have a brother in law roaming around out there. #sbbuzz
lindadessau: @bradfordshimp Congrats on the upcoming book! I just subscribed so I’ll get my copy! http://ht.ly/1SN6V #sbbuzz
mriggen: @scoblitz Yes, what you said! @batchblue will be at http://freelancecampchicago.org/, come say hello! #sbbuzz
bradfordshimp: @lindadessau Cool, thanks! #sbbuzz
pmohara: #sbbuzz Pitch – Pamela here from & @batchblue makers of BatchBook Social CRM (when not busy sbbuzzing)
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