Lilian Sue is a long-time sales copywriter, social media strategist and publicist who has worked with numerous industries, from television projects to food and beverage brands and more. She develops cohesive, comprehensive content marketing strategies that drive sales, global recognition and engaged audience growth, and she’s ready to share the tea for other solopreneurs!
What are some marketing mistakes you see solopreneurs make (both new and experienced)?
One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen is not doing market research to determine who their dream clients/customers are and where they spend their time. Because of that, there’s also often a rush to have a presence on as many social media platforms as possible, because they’re popular, regardless of whether or not their dream target audience is on there or not.
Many solopreneurs also build their strategies based on what THEY want to see, hear, read and listen to, instead of what truly benefits their audiences. Consequently, their marketing strategies lack consistency in terms of content, organization when it comes to scheduling and doesn’t fulfill the needs of their audiences.
In your experience, what are some of the biggest marketing challenges solopreneurs face? Have you faced any of these challenges yourself?
The 3 biggest obstacles I’ve faced and I’ve seen other entrepreneurs face are: time, resources and knowledge. Many solopreneurs lack the resources (and revenue for such resources) to do things like have professional websites built and take courses to increase their knowledge on using certain platforms and strategies (such as Hootsuite and Hubspot). Because they’re busy running their businesses, they often don’t have time to develop cohesive marketing strategies.
I used what little time I had when I started my business to build a rudimentary website which I used for 12 years, before finally being able to take advantage of my referral network to have a better website built. When it comes to building on my knowledge base and having my own comprehensive content strategies, I make a conscious choice to prioritize building effective strategies in order to reach my dream clients and continue to provide exemplary services.
Can you please share 5 of your go-to tips for solopreneurs on building a strong + cohesive marketing strategy from scratch?
Do your market research to find your dream clients (Use Facebook groups, Instagram, Twitter call-outs and email newsletter to discover where your dream clients are, how they feel and what they need.
Spend the time to brainstorm content ideas (ie. for a blog, e-newsletters, social media) based on the market research you’ve done, to address some of the issues your dream clients are struggling with, and add to that list as you move from week to week.
Research platforms & tools that you can use to build a cohesive content calendar for social content & longer-form content to help content organized and scheduled, based on your budget. Examples include Google Sheets, Asana, Trello, Airtable, Hootsuite, Buffer and many others. These platforms will also have analytics available to help you keep track of how effective your content at meeting your conversion goals.
When developing your content, keep your goals in mind. Are you looking to increase brand awareness? Grow ticket sales? Advertise a referral program? Your goals will help to determine how your structure your CTAs and on which mediums (ads, email, social media, website, print etc.) you’ll be sharing said content.
Re-purpose your content. Sharing a piece of content in different formats not only helps to extend the life of your content, it allows you to reach different audiences. Taking a blog post and turning it to a podcast or a video for social media also takes the burden off you from always having to create fresh, new content to appeal to audiences.
What is the best bit of marketing advice you’ve received?
Always, always focus on how you benefit the consumer and how you help them solve their problems, whenever you market yourself, whether it’s in person, online, in print etc. Beyond what you do or the features of the product and service that you’re selling, they want to know what’s in it for them if they buy from you or work with you.
What are some marketing tips that work for solopreneurs in any industry?
Always keep the benefits to consumers in mind when writing your content. Share your brand story (ie. who you are, how you got started, what you’ve learned) in a way to resonates with your audience. Show them that you understand what they’re going through because you’ve been where they are.
No matter what content you’re developing (ie. An email newsletter, a social media ad, a blog post), keep your call-to-actions crystal clear. Tell consumers what you want them to do as plainly as possible, don’t confuse them by cramming in too many links and actions.
How does building a marketing strategy for social media differ from a publicity strategy?
Building a social media strategy is reliant on which platforms you’re using as well as keeping content organized and scheduled with a social media content calendar solution, typically by month or by quarter. A publicity strategy is often campaign based and focused on one particular product/service/project/event and is dependent on developing story hooks and key relationships with media outlets, influencers and journalists to obtain international press coverage.
Are there any resources you’d suggest for solopreneurs to help with building a marketing strategy?
Social Media Examiner is a great free blog that has amazingly detailed blog posts that can help educate you on different tools and platforms as well as what’s going on in the marketing industry on the whole. I would also recommend following the blogs for companies like Hubspot and Wishpond who focus on every aspect of marketing such as e-commerce, social media contests, video marketing and more.
Anything else to add?
There will come a time where you’ve been able to do all the research and implement the platforms that you need—but you don’t have time to engage with your audiences on a daily or weekly basis. Don’t be afraid to reach out to marketing strategists (such as myself) to help you build & elevate your engagement strategy