Heidi McIvor-Allen - Owner of McIvor Marketing LLC


Running a small business is tough. You have to wear so many hats that many large companies have complete departments to focus on just one of the things you are responsible for. I get it. I am in the same boat! So in an effort to help fellow growing businesses, I thought I would start to share what “I know” and hopefully it can help make your day a little less stressful and help you in an area that is so important in this very digital age. 

“When you change one thing, you have the ability to change everything. Here are 5 marketing tips for small businesses to help you grow.”

Let’s get to it! Here are 5 marketing tips to help your small business. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! 

1. Optimize Your Website

Optimizing your website for SEO is so important and a job that is never done. Google alone has a 200 point checklist on how it ranks your website. Every time you follow the rules, you have a chance to rank higher in those search results, when you don’t… you will slip to page 2 and beyond. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Is your website mobile-friendly?
  • Does each page have an SEO-friendly meta title & description?
  • Are your photos saved for “web & devices” (smaller files to improve site speed)?
  • How are your page URLs?
  • What is your website bounce rate?

2. Update Your Social Media

You already know that your customers are online and on social media DAILY. The question you need to research is, what social media spaces are they spending the MOST time on? Whatever those spaces are, you need to be there. The thing with social media is that it’s a 2-way conversation and people are looking to have conversations with friends, family and get educated about who you are as a business and helps keep you top of mind. Here are a few questions to ask yourself?

  • What spaces do my customers spend the most time on?
  • What social media spaces are your top competitors using?
  • When is the last time you posted?
  • How frequently do you post vs your competition?
  • What does your social feed say about you? Is it reflective of your brand? Is it engaging, informative, and sales-driven (even mix)?
  • And most importantly, are you able to track true ROI (return on your investment whether paid or organic)? 

3. Build A Referral Network

Having a strong network of people within your industry and in the local communities that you serve is very important. How strong is your current “network”? What is your elevator pitch? Building a network of mutually beneficial relationships that will refer you to other businesses or customers (and vice versa) is so important – especially today. Here are a few things to review or things you can start doing to help.

  • Start by making a list of people/businesses that you’d feel comfortable referring your OWN customers to. This could be a complimentary service to your own or something that is commonly purchased at the same time as they are purchasing your service/product.
  • Reach out to them and highlight a few customers that you sent their way and ask if they would be open to referring your business. The worst thing they can say is no, but if you let them know your “why” and how it will benefit them and their customer relationships, I feel confident that you will get a yes!
  • Do you have an official referral program in place? Meaning, if someone refers you business and they sign up, a lot of companies will give a “finders fee” or a flat dollar amount of money for every referral you give them. It really works!
  • Also, you could build a page on your website about it, then promote it to your happy & existing customers too! You could position it in a way that if they refer a customer who signs on for X amount of time, that you will take X dollars off their bill as a thank you. Or you can give them an upgraded service/product gratis for a few months as a thank you or a percentage off their next order.

However you do it, building a referral network can be a HUGE revenue stream for you if done correctly.   

4. Write More Content

You have probably heard this before “content is king”! It really is. Good, local content that is unique and relevant to what you offer is so powerful. And if done correctly, it will help you for years and years to come. So here are a few tips about content.

  • Write more content and post it on your website regularly. Whether it’s highlighting successes, explaining a product or service, your take on a common problem in your industry that customers face, or answering frequently asked questions. Just Start Writing.
  • I know it’s easier said than done, but if you don’t have the time or expertise to write the content yourself, look at outsourcing that to someone that understands SEO.
  • Using proper heading tags on a page, writing in your company voice and a way that speaks to your audience and is at least 500 words per page.
  • Here’s a great article by Gary Vee that is all about documenting vs creating. I recommend checking that out as well if you find yourself with writer’s block. 

5. Solicit Reviews Online

50% of millennials will believe an online review over their own friends & family. You read that right. I didn’t believe it at first but then I started to track my own buying behavior and realized that even if I got a referral from someone I know & trust, I would still research them online, check out their reviews, look up their website and see what they offer and what their company stands for. And depending on how good or bad those online reviews were… that would ultimately determine who I did business with.

Your customers, whether they want to admit it or not, are the same way. We all have easy access to data and information at our fingertips, don’t lose a potential customer when they are so close to buying and already in your sales funnel! Here are a few tips:

  • How many reviews do you have on Facebook & Google? 
  • And depending on your industry, there may be a few other directories or places you have to monitor. 
  • Keeping tabs on this is important. To rank better for industry searches you need over a 4.0 average star rating or better on Google alone.
  • How many reviews do your main competitors have?
  • Do you already have a plan in place to regularly solicit more online reviews from happy customers?
  • Do you have a page on your site or email verbiage that you can send to all your customers after about 30-60 days as your client?
  • When you get a new review, whether positive or negative, are you responding to them publicly?
  • Another helpful tip, respond to ALL REVIEWS ALWAYS. People expect to read some negative or slightly negative things about your business because we all know that some people just like to complain or provide “constructive criticism”. But what your potential customers need to see is that you care and that you respond in an attempt to resolve the situation quickly even for unhappy customers.

These are just a few things that need to be top of mind (especially for new customer acquisition). 

Want more marketing tips for small business?

I know this may be a lot of information and for some, and for others, it might just be the reassurance you needed to know that you are wearing all your hats very well! For others, it’s ok, if one or even all 5 of these tips need a little more attention. Just know, that is where I can come into play (or other marketing companies like myself). I can help small businesses like yours with any and all of your marketing needs. Reach out with questions anytime! 

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