By Lesley Francis


In our fast changing world, marketing is one sector when staying abreast of change and ideally ahead of the curve can make a big difference to the success of your business. For small businesses and independent professionals, who are already usually slammed just doing their job, it can be overwhelming. It is important to avoid the temptation to either ignore the need for it or undertake lots of different promotional activities – without enough strategic direction or planning.

People often say that they have plenty of business and don’t have the time to worry about marketing. I would challenge you to look closely and honestly assess if the business you have if the type you want you want and provides you with a good return on investment (ROI). If it is then I am sincerely pleased for you as clearly your marketing words – whether this is via word of mouth/online customer endorsement, traditional or online advertising campaigns, public relations, a fantastic website, information dissemination via third parties or any combinations of these. I would just counsel you to ensure that this remains true as your business matures, and the economy evolves.

I am often asked for some marketing tips so there are some starting points for you to consider whether you or a trust employee has the expertise and time to dedicate to marketing programs. Here are my top five tips:

  1. Focus on your website and online presence. Your website, google listing and other online presence such as social media can generate high quality inquiries, phone calls and sales. People use the internet to check out businesses – usually from their smartphones so your website needs to be up to date. You would be surprised how many businesses forget to update opening hours, contact information or even their address! Your website has the power to increase or decrease every other marketing activity. Have the best website you can afford and make sure it is mobile friendly. WordPress has great templates that are simple to update and easy for customers to navigate which is why it is our platform of choice at LFPR.
  2. Search Engine Optimization or Marketing (SEO and SEM) improves your search engine rankings so customers can find you first when they search online, and the quality and quantity of your website traffic improves. Remember mobile searching is far more common than desktop searching now and update you’re website regularly with blogs and special offers. Think about ‘keyword analysis’; what are the top key words for your business and try to use these on your website. Remember that localized website content will help as well.
  3. Google Listings and Positive Reviews. First make sure you have your business and kept your Google listing updated – you will need to sign up for this online. Research your competition so you know what offers, guarantees, and prices you are up against in order to make your business attractive. Identify and promote your USP (unique selling point) such as service, quality, longevity, but try to differentiate yourself from your competitors. The most powerful endorsements are from other people so ask your customers to provide positive reviews which can be used on your website and online promotional tools.
  4. How is Your Elevator Pitch? Do you have a clear, brief message that is typically about 30 seconds – the time it takes people to ride from the top to the bottom in an elevator. Get comfortable with what you have to say so you can breeze through it when the time comes and don’t bore people and always be politically correct and empathic. Remember to keep it up-to-date, especially after all the changes we have all experienced over the last three years. Looking at my own business, when I founded LFPR twelve years ago, our focus was very much on traditional public relations. Now we are a full-service marketing agency with expertise and experience in website building, social media programs, online advertising and promotion as well as the excellent media relations and crisis management services we have always offered.
  5. Make Sure Your Social Media Strategy is Working. Identify the most important social media platforms that align with your customer base. Facebook is the biggest and most popular, but Instagram becomes more important every day and attracts a bigger and more mainstream audience every day – not just young people Images and videos are powerful and popular but

Source: Richmond Hill Neighbors magazine | Issue March 2023 | Page 22

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LFPR is a full-service marketing agency offering a full range of event management and promotion as well as graphic design, website development and digital promotion, social media services, advertising and ruble relations.