As your life begins to unfold, you never know where you're really going to end up or the people you're going to meet along the way. I didn't know that working in a punk and rockabilly clothing store was going to be the starting point of my love affair with small businesses. I didn't know the folding of clothes, listening to Rancid and Oingo Boingo and helping people find the clothes they liked was my beginning education in sales.
From there, I went on to work at a small, high-end wine shop and eventually I was promoted to Assistant Buyer. I worked crazy hours, barely ate and took my work home with me. I loved what I was doing, so to me, it all didn't matter. I had no idea my entrepreneur time watch was already ticking.
Fast forward 11 years later, and not only do I run a small business, I also help market other small businesses! What is it that draws me to this demographic? Why have I spent the majority of my life working in small business atmospheres? The biggest reason: you can see your effects quicker. Here are the other reasons that make me passionate about working with small businesses.
Change is Constant
The nature of small businesses is things are constantly growing and changing. Nothing is set in stone and I enjoy that rush of change because this is where creativity thrives. I remember when I first started working with an occupational therapist in Montana. From the get-go, we had a clear plan that I would design two newsletters for her a month and we would do one written blog and one video blog a week that we would then disperse throughout her social media channels.
Then about 4 months in, my client began toying with the idea of creating an online academy, where she could create more in-depth OT resources for teachers to use in their classrooms for a small membership fee. This then gave me the opportunity to build content around the online academy that we could use to promote the program on her website and social media platforms. Now, she will be launching her first webinar next month and I cannot wait to see the innovation we will both embark on together to make the webinar a success.
Little Victories are Big Victories
One of my favorite parts of doing digital marketing for small businesses is seeing the effect my work has on their business, sometimes instantly. When I was working with an earlier client of mine and she was embarking on email marketing for the first time, we were unsure of the effect it was going to have on her business. When she emailed me saying the first email we put out resulted in $1,000 in sales to her company, we both jumped for joy.
Or when I get to tell a client they have three new followers on Pinterest or when I get to comment on 5-star reviews on Yelp for my bakery client. I can feel the smiles on both sides and I know these positive moments of exposure or sales is only leading to greater opportunities for my clients.
Course Correcting is a Privilege
No marketing strategy is perfect, there always needs to be room for course correcting, and this is something I get to do often with my clients. The best part about course correcting in my line of work is I only have to ask one person for permission to do it, since I mainly converse with owners of businesses on their company marketing efforts.
I had a client where I was noticing her open rates on her email blasts were decreasing. I then went in and changed the format to make the content easier for her readers to digest and next thing I know, the open rates increased.
Lots of Opportunities for Education and Growth
If I had to describe myself in one word, that word would be curious. Getting to blog about topics related to the businesses I work with is not only helping their SEO, it's indulging my curiosity for knowledge. Blogging brings me into the world of my clients and how they're helping the world. If I didn't work with a veterinarian, I wouldn't have known how awful it is for a dog's long-term health to run long distances or how she came to be passionate about holistic medicine and how she created a holistic veterinarian practice.
Same thing goes on the marketing side. I love getting to share with my clients how I optimized their LinkedIn page and the potential those changes can have on their business, or how adding more information to a Yelp page is helping the bakery business I work with to get calls or requests to their business from Yelp users daily.
Small Businesses Change the World
I truly believe my customers and many other small businesses have great powers for change. At first, that power starts locally, then globally and the journey along the way continues to be rewarding, story-worthy and ever changing. Every day I get to wake up and be a part of this momentum and I'm so glad it isn't slowing down anytime soon.