How I’m using AirTable to be more consistent with my marketing.
I’m a believer in the idea that small business marketing, especially local marketing doesn’t have to be brilliant, with high-end, professional graphics and spellbinding copy.
Original and Consistent
But it can’t be haphazard or rote, either. The best solution is for local business marketing to be original and consistent.
Being original means conveying what is actually going on in your business–not clichés, not imitations and not constant blasts of excitement.
People like to do business with real people.
Like many of the real people I know, I’ve always considered my ideas for business posts to be too ordinary, too boring, already obvious. But then I remember that I’ve found the best tools for work from other people’s ordinary posts. I’ve found answers for obscure web development problems in the simple notes of fellow developers who will never know how much they helped me. And maybe most important, I’ve learned things because someone shared a little tip or process that other people take for granted.
So now I’m convinced. The content of my everyday posts may be just the thing for someone out there. The point, really, is to find a part of myself that has good will towards my audience and to be a steady presence in the marketplace.
The ‘steady presence’ part is where consistency comes in.
Busy, small business owners are notorious for putting off marketing until their business is in dire need of more revenue. But that’s not how marketing works. The real magic happens from being a stable and reliable presence, so that when a person suddenly finds they need what you’re selling, it’s your name, your brand that comes to mind.
Remembering to Market
I’ve taken to heart the modern advice to have various revenue streams going. I’ve come out of retirement with my local web services business. I wrote the Google Analytics reference book I’ve always needed but couldn’t find. I started a nonprofit to benefit women- and minority-owned, independent, local businesses. And I write articles for Medium.
That’s a lot of marketing to ‘get in the mood for’ and to keep track of.
Having an alliteration helps.
the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words
“Financial Fridays” is a good one. I’ve been using it to keep me mostly on track with my bookkeeping for a few years now.
Now I’ve started “Marketing Mondays”.
Like all new habits, on the first Monday, I forgot all about it until Tuesday. 😕 The next Monday I remembered Monday morning. I had plans to go a completely different direction with my work that day, so I was bummed at first, but it didn’t take long to change gears and get into it. This Monday… I remembered the night before!
I’m not the type to just throw out some posts and see what happens. I put a lot of effort into making sure my readers don’t feel confused or misdirected, and that they have what they need to follow up.
And I really don’t like wasting my efforts. So, I invent little processes that let me log what I’ve done and measure the results.
AirTable* is a no-code database platform that is well-established, ever-improving and easy to use. I’m able to use the free version for this project.
To start the day, I open the Form I created and start filling in the fields for the appropriate marketing platform.
To make this form, you open your Dashboard and “Add a new base” which takes you to the default Grid View.
I’m using the “Date” field type in the first column. All the other columns use the “Long text” field type with the name of the marketing platform as the title.
After you’ve created all the columns you think you’ll need, use the bottom section of the left sidebar to create a form. It will be pre-populated with your column headings, which you can reorder if you like.
I used the top “description” section of the form to list all the hashtags I might use. And I used the “Help text” section that’s available for each field to provide stock information I need for that particular platform.
I used to have a more complicated database like in the image at the top of this post, but found that all I really need is the plain text to copy and paste.
This is a simple and free system. If you have questions, please feel free to ask. If anyone out there uses it, let me know how!
*This is my affiliate link.