Frequently Asked Questions
What are your qualifications to write this book?
I have an MBA with a focus in Marketing from Regis University. One of the reasons I selected Regis is that they require their professors to be involved in the subject they’re teaching — in my case, my instructors were business owners or marketing executives, and we often worked our class projects for actual local small businesses.
Will this book work for me?
That depends on you.
It won’t work without effort. I can give you tools and ideas, a framework to use and action steps for using it. But I can’t make you take those steps. That’s up to you.
I’m a busy person. How much time is this gonna take?
Of course you’re busy. You’re a small business owner. You’re insanely busy.
The last chapter of Bare Minimum Marketing discusses (well… will discuss) the Small Business Marketing Paradox. It goes like this:
- When you’re busy, you neglect your marketing. Which means that you shortly become un-busy, because you don’t have customers.
Since you’re un-busy, you spend time on marketing, so your sales go up. Then you’re busy, so you don’t spend time on marketing.
The result is a constant up-and-down of your sales, your income, and your frustration. The small business marketing paradox is this: your success is undermining your ability to succeed further.
The only way out of it is to spend time marketing, every day, every week. What I’ll help you do is make those as automated and streamlined as possible, so they don’t interfere with running your business.
I’ve tried [other marketing book], and that didn’t work. What makes you think that your book will?
That depends, of course, on why your previous marketing education hasn’t helped you. But in my experience, the biggest reason small businesses struggle to implement marketing ideas is that they lack a coherent marketing plan in which to implement them.
Books like Permission Marketing, Guerrilla Marketing, and The New Rules of Marketing and PR are fantastic books, and I recommend them strongly. They make good points, and have great ideas. But they lack context. They don’t give you an overall structure for putting those ideas into practice. And so it’s easy to end up agreeing completely, but not sure what to do about it.
Bare Minimum Marketing is designed to work with these other resources, in a way that allows you to get the full value from all your marketing investments by helping to apply them in a way that lets them work together, gain traction, and tell you what’s working for your business.
Is small business marketing really so different from big business marketing?
Yes. Big biz is focused on spending millions of dollars on ad campaigns. This is a terrible approach for small businesses because:
- 1) They don’t have millions of dollars to spend Usually, you won’t have enough for an advertisement to make a difference. This makes Budweiser-style ad campaigns next to useless for small businesses.
2) They’re trying to accomplish something different Big businesses can trust that their customers know who they are and what they do; all they’re trying to get you to do is say “Hey, a Coke sounds really good right now”. Small business marketing has to focus more on education: telling customers exactly what it is you do, and why it’s of benefit to them. That requirement, in turn, necessitates a different approach to reaching out to customers.
3) It doesn’t leverage the strengths of small businesses Big businesses have to rely on Superbowl ads, because they have too many customers to reach directly and serve personally. So they gloss over that weakness by relying on their strengths (they have lots of money). Your business, on the other hand,can and does have a personal relationship with your customers, and often one that your customers value highly. Your marketing should focus on your strengths (relationships and personalized attention) rather than your weaknesses.
Where can I buy Bare Minimum Marketing?
Right now I’m working to raise publishing costs through Kickstarter. For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, I have an explanation of the process and the benefits. If you’re curious about the backer rewards available, they can also be found on the Kickstarter page.