Marketing for Beginners – a workshop

 In growing your business, social media

What is marketing? What are the basics you need to understand before you can succeed? Can anyone do it?


Just some of the questions answered in a recent (and my first) workshop delivered though Women Growing a Business in Lincoln.

Going back to my roots

Having taught business studies for a number of years at Branston Community Academy I was not daunted by the request to deliver a workshop for some aspiring entrepreneurs. A very dynamic couple of hours in a room with 5 ladies all at different stages of their start-up journey.


Reality Check

The truth is is whether you’re a man or a woman if you run your own business you should have a handle on your own marketing before you start farming it out to another source. Why? Well, marketing isn’t always going to be about gaining an immediate sale. It’s about understanding your message, who you need to deliver it to and how you’ll do this. The more you understand the relationship between you (seller), your product and your buyer the better you will be at controlling that relationship.
Today we are faced with a plethora of marketing methods to help us. So many infact it’s not always helpful! Particularly if you’re starting out. Sometimes the easiest options are the ones we know, print advert, leaflet or events but they are often expensive and may not even speak to your desired audience (remember just because you read it that doesn’t mean your audience does)

The workshop highlighted how how hard it is for people starting out, for some this isn’t just starting out in business it is often starting out in social media full stop. How do I post? What is a story? What is a tag, how do I tag? If you are starting out I hope this FAQ listed will help you out!

Do I need a logo?

Yes. it doesn’t need to be expensive. See one we created for Women starting a Business. It’s font based and more than does the job. If you are building a brand or have a product you will need more advice and more labour intensive creative approach. You can change your logo when you are ready but be mindful of spending money on signage etc if you plan to do this.

women growing a business


Should I spend money on print adverts?

If you are small local business starting out a large advert in a local magazine is not a good way to spend in the first instance. If you feel you need a print advert look at smaller local (often parish type) publications that have good local circulation and are still well used by households for reference. You can also insert leaflets into these at relatively low cost.

When you have traded for a while, have reviews and learned more about your customers then perhaps look at the investment needed for the glossy publications

When I first started I went along to my local school fete just to let local business owners know I existed. I slightly brutal experience because you’re not going to close any sales at a fete selling marketing BUT I know have a number of local clients, word travels….


arora marketing navenby school fete

What social media should I be using?

I recommend you start with facebook. Make a business page, get a proper username, use your logo and high quality images throughout. That doesn’t mean you need a professional photographer, invest in a good smartphone and have someone show you how to use the camera. Once you have got to grips with this move on and start with instagram (they work well together so you don’t have to double your workload all the time). Twitter is useful for daily spying and conversation / networking but I don’t recommend it for adverts etc. There are others coming up through the ranks but this is your starting point.

How do I grow my audience (get more likes and followers)

Firstly ask everyone you know to follow and like you. Old hat but its a great place to start and will give you a boost. Don’t make a big deal of it on facebook, send messages to your friends. Tell them you need a leg up and they can unfollow you later! Once you have enough FB will allow you to boost to ‘people who like your page and their friends’. I wouldn’t recommend spending a lot here but if your service / product is local and you know there is a need for it, use this as an opportunity to get the word out.

Tag and link up with complimentary services local to you, not competitors but someone that is likely to share your work and support you in some way.

Run a competition. Give something away for free, ask people to like and share to enter. If you cannot give your product / service away for free then buy something related to your business and give that away for free. EG an interior designer might give away some vouchers for Doddington Hall or some material etc. Look up some examples and be careful with the wording.

Post regularly and keep it interesting and USEFUL. Content is key, if you only post sales related information people will switch off quickly. Tell them something they need to know, show them you know your stuff!

How do I spend money on Facebook? Should I be boosting?

Unsurprisingly FB makes it easy for you to spend money at the click of a button, be careful not to go crazy! Your best option is to use Business Manager to select your audience (by demographic and interests) and see how it goes, test and measure…repeat!

How do I get into the local news?

Tell them!! If you don’t then nobody will. Visit the website of the publication and send your news to the ‘news desk and features desk’. Tell them the what, when, who and why it is of interest to their readers. Send in a nice image (include people in it if you can) and follow it up with a call. Be nice and remember journalists are people too! Could you invite the journalist to an opening or offer a complimentary treatment?

Facebook Basics – what do I need?

Facebook is always changing but the basics are:
Profile pic (small image shown in feds)
Facebook strip – long horizontal image that needs to be mobile friendly (keep the text to the centre). Can be a video
Page Info section – fill it in!
Our Story section – this displays on your page. Great way of giving your audience the back story and showing images all in one place
Template – choose between business, service, shop etc. Pick the right one for you. A a great way of showcasing products and prices.
Reviews  – now called recommendations, make sure you ask clients to fill them in for you. You can use them as posts as well.
Post – this is where you share your news, images, videos etc
Tag – make sure your settings allow people to tag you Find this in settings
Page Roles – if you  are using a keen student or friend to help you then you will need to make them an ‘Admin’ which you can do under Page Roles in settings.

What should I be writing about?

Talk to people about what you know. Offer free advice and guidance. Show yourself to be an authority in your field. You readers might not want or need you know but when they do your name should be forefront in their mind. Show pictures of your work. Share information about your team and events at your workplace (or the desk you’re on if that is where you’re at). Don’t go on and on about what your pets and children are doing unless it is directly relevant to your audience and in someway related to your business. The odd bit is fine but be careful not to fall into that trap if you want to be taken seriously. Good examples might include:

  • Answer common FAQs once a week
  • Review new products on the market related to your field
  • Comment / share a relevant news story
  • Ask a question, encourage debate
  • Use images and video of your work being made, sold, used, fixed etc
  • Explain do’s and don’ts related to your field
  • Explain common myths away
  • Help people
  • Throw in the odd sales message! Remind people what you have to offer.

SEO, Google Ranking and SSLs

These are relevant to website owners, please get in touch if you need to understand more about these.

The list could go on but I sincerely hope I have helped some of you.

If you would like to book a one 2 one consult with me to go though the physical working of your facebook page please contact me.

  • One 2 One Basic Facebook know how £75-£100
  • One 2 One Facebook / web appraisal and consult (1 hour prep and 1 hour meeting with follow up call) £150-200

If you would like to book a group session for any of the topics touched upon here please contact Meryl at Women Growing a Business. Men and women welcome to any of my workshops!

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