20 marketing tips for 2020: Going Solo

9 min read
Matthew Pattinson

The New Year is a time to re-energise your solo business. You want your business to move forward, in the new year, don’t you? Of course you do. Because, if you’re not going forward, you’re going backwards. There’s no standing still in business.

It’s always good practice to have a new vision for the new year - a 2020 vision!

And that means, you need to think about your brand and your marketing. To help you with that, here are our 20 marketing tips for 2020:

#1: You need a brilliant brand

If you’ve never really thought about your business’ brand, it’s past time you did. And, if you are already fully-branded-up, maybe you can take the opportunity to freshen it up with some new ideas for the new year. We detail the how and the why of cooking up a brilliant brand in this blog. Your brand is the bed of your business marketing strategy. Everything grows from it.

#2: Don’t forget your personal brand

The heart of a great brand - especially for a small or solo business - is you! So, with that in mind, we also talk you though how to build a strong personal brand in this blog. After all, you are your business!

#3: Take your brand online

If you don’t already have a website - you need one. Even if you don’t supply your services through a website, you need to have an online presence to help attract customers and establish your brand. A website is something you can customise so that it perfectly reflects your business, your brand and you!

We discuss the four ways you can create a new website in this blog, as well as offering helpful advice.

#4: Optimise for mobile & desktop

Nowadays, most people access the internet on their phone. The percentage has been rising steadily and, at the end of 2018, 57% of internet searches were from a mobile, whilst 43% were from desktop. So, if you want to maximise the potential of your marketing, and make the most of your business, you need to ensure that you understand both platforms.

Make sure that your website is optimised for mobile!

#5: Market your brand

GoDaddy Websites + Marketing is the perfect tool for making the most of your online presence - it’s an all-in-one solution that helps your business look good in all the places that matter. It’s more than just a website builder, it’s your guide to getting better business results.

#6: Market yourself with social media

It’s possible you don’t think of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIN as effective ways to market your business, but they certainly are. The most effective way to use these social platforms, is to create posts which engage with your existing customers and potential customers alike.

#7: Use the social media marketing mix

The most effective use of social media is to avoid constantly posting ‘buy my stuff’ type posts, because people can easily get bored of that. Instead you should try mixing it up. So, divide your social media marketing into three types:

  1. Promotion (selling stuff).
  2. Education (offering help and advice to people, explaining what you do and how).
  3. Engagement (fun stuff that you like and your customers might also like).

#8: Create great content

Content is the substance at the heart of your marketing. Content can be social posts and blogs, but it can also be audio podcasts and videos. Whatever medium (or mix of media) you use, it’s your chance to create material that is unique and special to you! It’s your platform to show why you love what you do, and help others love it too. Great content can inform and entertain and it can help you stamp your individual personality on your business.

#9: Make your content personal

If you are the key to your business - then make at least some of your content personal. You may be shy, you may not want the publicity, but marketing yourself as the leader and mainstay of your business is hardly the same as putting yourself into the Big Brother house. You’re introducing yourself in the environment that matters to you: your business. So, be yourself. People will buy your products and services, and keep coming back for more, because they feel they know you.

#10: Make your content shareable

It doesn’t matter how high your production values, nor how great your skill-level; if your content isn’t engaging, no-one will look at it. You want people to watch the video, read the blog, share the meme. If they’re not interested in it, they won’t want to share it with others. Sharing is how your marketing will work to expand your profile and your customer base. It will increase your ‘organic reach’ - that is the number of real people who know about your business.

#11: Make your content high quality

This doesn’t mean your How To video needs to be produced with state-of-the-art special effects and George Clooney on voice-over duty. What it means is that you need to ensure that the substance of your content is high quality - that you’re offering viewers valuable insight into what you do - and empowering them, possibly, to do some of themselves. Solve people’s problems and they’ll love you for it.

#12: Make your content practical

Solve a problem. Your customers have problems that need solving - whether it’s where to find a plumber, where to go for a meal or what to buy Uncle Arthur for Christmas. Make sure that your content stresses how you solve people’s problems. If your content is useful in this way, if it offers real value to your prospective customers, they will respond and share.

#13: Make your content emotional

Engage people’s emotions - if they’re nervous about trying a new supplier, explain why you are a safe pair of hands; be reassuring. Humour works brilliantly online - if you can make a prospective customer laugh, you have their attention! You’re talking to people (not algorithms) and people respond to content which makes them feel smarter, or less anxious, or makes them laugh.

#14: Make your content local

Of course, you are also talking to algorithms. And, the search engines typically promote local businesses to local consumers. So, use that to get the algorithms to present your site to more actual people. If you have premises you want customers to visit, this local bias is brilliant for you. If your business is one that can be based anywhere - it still doesn’t hurt for local people to know they’re supporting a local business. That, in itself, can be reassuring.

#15: Make your content competitive

Check out what your competition is doing to market themselves. Is it working for them? Would something similar work for you? Never be too proud to take a good idea and adapt it. Clearly you don’t just want to copy what they’re doing, but you can always put your own spin on it.

#16: Build an email list

Whilst its important to find new customers, it can be easier, quicker and cheaper to re-connect with existing customers. After all, they already know who you are and what you do. Email marketing is the perfect way to develop your business relationship with existing customers. A list of satisfied customers (who have given permission to be contacted by email) is an incredibly important asset to have!

We offer some great email marketing tips in this blog.

#17: Build a relationship with your email list

Using a similar mentality to your social posts, you don’t just want to bombard people with selling messages. You could send out a regular (short) newsletter, keeping people up-to-date with your business, and you could include vouchers or offers in there, to keep people interested and to generate clicks through to your website.

#18: Segment your email list

Newsletters, blog posts and content of that nature can be sent out to everyone on your list. But, sales offers should be targeted. This might take time, but alerting customers to offers which relate to things they’ve bought in the past, is far more likely to result in a sale, than a vague and unfocused which might irritate them and cause them to unsubscribe.

You can divide your email list along whatever lines you find most useful - do older customers buy different things from younger ones? Do women buy different things to men? If you know this about your customers, you can target your messages far more effectively. And, this is exactly the sort of activity that GoDaddy Websites + Marketing can help you with.

#19: Personalise your emails

Since you’ve gone to the trouble to make sure that emails go only to people who might (hopefully) like and respond to them, the next logical step is to ensure that your emails are personalised. Customers are far more likely to read and respond to a message that addresses them by name, rather than ‘Dear Subscriber’ or ‘Valued customer’.

#20: Run A/B split tests

The key to email marketing is getting people to open the email - and the only way you can make that happen is with a great subject line. But, how do you know what will work? You run a split test. This is what the big boys do, and it is the simplest and most effective way of making sure your marketing hits the target.

Split testing simply means that you divide your email list in half, send one message to one half and a different version of that message to the other half. By checking the open rates and response rates, you can quickly learn which message was more effective. Then, you’ll know to do more of that in the future.

So, there you go, a quick run through some great, simple ways you can maximise the potential for our business in 2020. We, at GoDaddy, are here to help you every step of the way. So, make the most of another great year.