Sarah, a talented floral designer, knew her arrangements were beautiful. But she felt constantly overwhelmed trying to keep up with every social media trend, squeeze in those local networking events, AND actually run her shop. All that marketing effort wasn’t translating into the consistent sales growth she craved. Sound familiar? If you’re a small business owner or solopreneur, chances are you’ve experienced that feeling of “never doing enough” when it comes to marketing. The truth is, you DON’T have to do it all. In fact, focusing on a few key activities will have a far greater impact. Let’s break it down. 

Core Activity 1: Content Marketing 

Creating valuable, engaging content is the cornerstone of effective marketing. It helps you establish credibility, attract your ideal customer organically, and build trust over time. The key? Consistency and quality over quantity. 

  • Actionable Tips 
    • Choose Your Focus: Don’t try to be a master of everything. Select ONE main content format you enjoy creating that resonates with your audience. This could be blogging, short-form videos, informative social posts, podcasts, etc. 
    • Repurpose, Repurpose, Repurpose! That amazing blog post you wrote? It can be transformed into social media snippets, an email newsletter, or even the foundation for a webinar. This maximizes your efforts and lets your content work for you. 
  • Example 

Sarah, our flower shop owner, started a blog called “Floral Tips & Inspiration.” She shares flower care guides and creative arrangement ideas and showcases her work in a way that adds value for her audience. This establishes her expertise. She includes a clear “call to action ” within each blog post,” inviting readers to join her email list for exclusive offers and a free downloadable guide to long-lasting bouquets. 

Core Activity 2: Email Marketing 

Having a direct line of communication with people already interested in your business is marketing gold. Email allows you to nurture those relationships, provide consistent value, and ultimately drive sales. Here’s how to make it work: 

  • Actionable Tips 
    • Build Your List with a Compelling Offer: Think beyond a generic “Sign up for my newsletter” message. Offer a valuable “lead magnet” in exchange for an email address. This could be a mini-ebook, a checklist, a discount code, or a free consultation. 
    • It’s Not Just About Selling: Provide your email subscribers with helpful content, exclusive insights, and personalized offers. The goal is to build trust and add value, making it a no-brainer for them to buy when they’re ready. 
  • Example 

A freelance writer offers a free download titled “5 Website Copywriting Mistakes That Cost You Clients” when people subscribe to her email list. In her regular emails, she mixes things up: a short blog-style article with actionable tips, a behind-the-scenes look at her process, and occasional announcements of new service packages. 

Core Activity 3: Social Media (List Building Focus) 

Social media can be a powerful tool for building brand awareness, fostering connections, and ultimately driving traffic back to your website and email list. However, with so many platforms and strategies out there, it’s crucial to focus on where you’ll see the biggest return for your time investment. Here’s how to use social media strategically to build your email list: 

  • Actionable Tips: 
    • Choose Your Platforms Wisely: Identify the 1-2 platforms where your ideal customer is most active. Consider demographics, interests, and content consumption habits when making your selections. For example, a B2B marketer might prioritize LinkedIn, while a graphic designer might find a strong audience on Instagram. 
    • Focus on Value, Not Just Selling: People are drawn to engaging, informative content. Share valuable tips, industry insights, or behind-the-scenes glimpses into your business. Intersperse this with occasional promotions or announcements. 
    • Craft Compelling Calls to Action: What action do you want people to take after seeing your post? Direct them to your website for a downloadable resource, invite them to sign up for your email list for exclusive offers, or encourage them to participate in a fun social media challenge (with an email opt-in as part of the entry). 
  • Example 

Let’s revisit Sarah, our floral shop owner. Knowing her ideal customer spends a lot of time on Instagram, she focuses her efforts there. She creates beautiful, high-quality photos showcasing her floral arrangements but also incorporates informative captions with quick flower care tips or seasonal decorating ideas. At the end of each caption, she includes a clear call to action, “Click the link in bio to download our free ‘Ultimate Guide to Long-Lasting Bouquets'” (which requires an email opt-in). 

What to Ditch 

While every business is different, here are a few marketing activities that usually offer little return on investment for small businesses and solopreneurs: 

  • Chasing Every Shiny New Trend: New platforms or viral tactics pop up constantly. Don’t feel pressured to jump on every bandwagon. Focus on the core activities that consistently move the needle for your business. 
  • Complex Paid Ads (Without a Foundation): Ads can be powerful, but if you don’t have a clear understanding of your ideal customer and a solid offer, you’ll likely waste money. First establish a strong content and email marketing strategy. 
  • Spreading Yourself Too Thin: Trying to be everywhere on social media often results in burnout and mediocre results. Choose your platforms wisely and focus on quality engagement. 

Remember, marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By focusing on the activities outlined and ditching the time-wasters, you’ll achieve greater results with less stress. If you want ongoing support, strategy, and a community to help you simplify your marketing, I invite you to join my Shattering Expectations Club