I was having lunch with a peer the other day and we were talking about how incredibly different today’s marketing tactics are from even 5 years ago. Quite frankly all these new shiny objects seem to be overwhelming small businesses instead of helping them grow their client base. This isn’t because they are in ineffective, but because there are so many, and business owners are unclear as to what the heck they are supposed to be doing with them. Here’s what I hear a lot lately. Do any of these sound familiar to you?

Do I need a Google+ Business page now? I don’t even know what Google+ is.

I’m on Facebook and posting regularly but not seeing any results.

I hate my website! Should changing it be my main focus?

I am 10 pages away from the first page of Google – I need to fix this now!

Direct Mail is dead.

I will NEVER Twitter.

I’m on LinkedIn but I really don’t want to connect with ½ those people approaching me!

I’ve tried EVERYTHING and NOTHING works!

It’s sad. There have never been more affordable and effective marketing tools at the fingertips of small businesses, and yet here we are – overworked, overwhelmed and feeling completely FRUSTRATED!

You know I’m going to tell you to start with strategy. Strategy always pays off. You know I’m going to also tell you to get your branding and content strong and consistent so you are effective in converting leads. ONCE you have done this and are READY for TACTICS then…..

Take a deep breath, relax and regroup. There is a great analogy you may have heard. “How do you eat an elephant (or for you vegetarians, think an entire vegetable patch)?” The Answer – “One Bite At A Time.” It’s time to stop trying to eat the elephant for tonight’s dinner and determine what bite you want to take first.

In other words you want to avoid being the Jack of all Marketing tactics, the master of none. You don’t need to master them all to be successful. Pick 1 – 3 you want to master this year – that’s it!

So where do you start?

Start with one(s) that you enjoy


one(s) that provides you a big bang for your buck (and your time)

You might be thinking okay I know what I enjoy, but how the HECK do I know if it’s going to pay off?

Ask yourself this:

Do I feel I have control over the results (in other words, where I do it, how much I do, when I do it, etc.)?

Can I afford to do it consistently both in time & money – day or week in & day or week out?

Do I know other business owners similar to me who have had results doing this activity that I can glean advice from or pay to help me?

If you can answer yes to these 3 questions…you are on the right track to finding a high pay off activity. Start there, stick with it and let the other shiny objects sit in your toy box for now!

Feel free to use this article as long as you include the following:

by Cidnee Stephen of Strategies for Success www.strategiesforsuccess.ca

AvatarCidnee Stephen

Cidnee Stephen is the owner of Strategies for Success, a marketing company that focuses on the needs of budget minded small businesses and professional services. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.