Running a small business takes an impressive amount of planning, sacrifice, and hard work to be sure, but to take your small business idea all the way to the bank requires developing a winning marketing strategy, too. Marketing is one of the most important parts of running a business—it’s how you attract customers after all—but marketing is often overlooked, under-budgeted and can easily fall through the cracks. To some, marketing might sound intimidating and only for big-time companies, but it’s really not that scary, we promise! We’re here to help.
A successful marketing campaign starts with understanding your brand and how to market it on various channels. We’ve rounded up a plethora of resources to help answer all your burning small business marketing questions like: What does my brand look like? How can I easily create small business marketing assets? How should I use different social media channels to execute my marketing plan?
Design your brand identity
First you need to figure out what your brand is all about. Are you fresh, serious, youthful, dependable, etc, and how do you convey those things? Start your small business marketing journey off right by defining your brand identity — once you know who you are, you can easily show it to the world.
Determine what your brand looks like
- Build Your Brand in 7 Days — PicMonkey’s branding bootcamp for new business owners. When you’ve completed this week of branding tutorials you’ll have a defined brand with custom brand assets and the know-how to begin online marketing like a boss.
- Choosing a Color Palette for Your Marketing Materials — Color plays a vital part in your brand’s presentation to the world. It can evoke a feeling or convey a emotion, so choosing the right hues matters.
Source free images for use in your marketing assets
- 11 Sources for Public Domain Images — Any of these images in the public domain are free to use for your business purposes. Just keep in mind that everyone has access to these so if you want an unique look, you may want to look further afield.
- 20 Resources for Free Stock Photos — So many free pictures! From business-themed pics to adventure shots to mock up blanks, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for. Just be sure to understand the license and use agreement as it may vary by photo.
Design your branding materials
- Design Your Logo — We walk you through the easy-peasy process of making a profesh-looking logo. Use it on your website, business cards, as a watermark on photos, and anywhere you want to represent your biz.
- Choosing Fonts for Your Business — Your font choices matter and they help to convey the vibe of your company. We can help you learn how to pair different fonts together.
- How to Make Professional Business Cards — Think paper business cards are passé? Nope! They’re still great for networking and making lasting first impressions of your brand.
Create a winning website
- Beginner level — Wix is a website building platform that is simple to use. No tech skills required, but if you want to do some coding you can get more advanced, too. Weebly is also very simple to use and they offer a free version.
- Intermediate level — WordPress is an open source website creation platform used by bloggers and eCommerce businesses alike. Because there are so many ways to customize your site with WordPress, it helps to have a little knowledge about website building, but it’s still really simple. Same with the high stylin’ SquareSpace, it offers so many customization options that it can be a bit overwhelming at first.
- Simple and free — Give Blogger a try if a simple homepage is all you need. They’ve many stylish templates to choose from, and it’s free to use.
- eCommerce capabilities — Selling on your website? You’ll need to set up eCommerce capabilities. That can mean an inventory system, online store, shopping cart, and payment processing. Many of the above website building platforms offer these services, and you can also go with Shopify or even Etsy.
Market your small business on all the social channels
- The Latecomer’s Guide to Social Marketing — Harness the power of social media with our seven-part, comprehensive guide for noobs and old pros alike.
- Digital Advertising for Small Business: Getting Started — A guide to understanding all the basics of digital advertising for small business.
- Create Your Own Advertisement — Who needs an ad agency when you have all the tools you need to make a winning ad on PicMonkey? Not you. Use our templates and the ability to re-edit your work into new versions or sizes when you save in Hub.
- Create Banners for Social Marketing — This article will walk you through making banners of all sizes for your website and for all the various social channels.
Marketing on Pinterest
- How to Create a Winning Brand Strategy on Pinterest
- Ways to Ace Your New Pinterest Business Page
- Pinterest for Business: How to Market on the Most Visual Social Network
Marketing on Facebook
Marketing on YouTube
Marketing on Instagram
- Instagram Stories: The Fun and Fleeting Way to Promote Your Brand
- How to Create Promotional Designs on Instagram
- How to Get Your Brand Going on Instagram
Resources for planning & starting a small business
Not quite ready for marketing yet? Or, need to back up a bit and do some small biz housekeeping? Check out these excellent resources to help you get all your entrepreneurial ducks in a row so you and your biz will be too legit to quit.
- 10 Steps to Start Your Business — The Small Business Association (SBA) walks you through the first steps to starting a new business.
- Business Plan Writing Tool — Get your idea down on paper and use your business plan as a living document as your business evolves.
- SCORE Business Mentors — Find free counsel from experienced business owners who want to help you succeed.
- National Association of Women Business Owners — Find a local chapter and get networking with supportive business women.
- Business Structure Basics — Which business structure fits your needs? Corporation? Sole proprietorship? Learn about all the types and their tax implications.
- State & Federal Online Business Registration — Register your existence with state and federal sources so you can stay tax compliant.
- Business Licenses & Permits — Get legit with licensing and specialized permits (if necessary) for your business.
Turn inspiration into action. Join now, and treat yourself to the PicMonkey creative toolkit.