I recently met with nine companies (mostly small businesses) who have been forced to innovate in order to survive and grow. The lessons that I have learned are priceless because they are not theoretical, they are extremely practical. These nine have separated the strategies that work from those that don’t. Read on to find out what they’ve accomplished. I think you’ll come away as inspired and motivated as I did…and then hear more from each of them at the Business Blogging Telesummit.
Mary McNeight and Carrie Rubens – Service Dog Academy
Mary and Carrie of Service Dog Academy of Seattle’s story is an inspiring one. After founding the company to fill a gap in the market for training of service dogs, Mary tried every kind of marketing, including organizing a pet and owner flash mob in downtown Seattle. It got a lot of TV news coverage, but no mention of her company…just her luck! Turns out that the creation of original online content is what really worked. Useful articles and video really hit home with potential customers locally and across the nation and have helped them move to a new, online model for helping people learn how to train service dogs! Find them at Service Dog Academy.
Lea Richards – Pig of the Month BBQ
Lea Richards teaches how to “partner smart” by partnering with adjacent industry players like BBQ equipment makers and brewers for co-marketing and joint content development opportunities. These strategies have helped Pig of the Month BBQ to cut marketing costs and greatly expand its reach. Find her at Pig of the Month.
Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus – The Minimalists
Joshua and Ryan left their corporate jobs and quickly got traction as bloggers and authors. They teach us how to accelerate your progress by learning from people that are already doing what you want to do. The Miminalists found people who were doing what they wanted to do (working as bloggers and writers) and they met with them to learn their secrets and to establish connections. This strategy allowed them to hit the ground running and to be successful more quickly than most other bloggers and writers. Find them at The Minimalists.
Patricia Davis Brown – Dig This Design and Patricia Davis Brown Designs, LLC
Patricia teaches us how to become an educated buyer of online marketing consulting services and to learn enough about your marketing to be dangerous! Patricia moved from helpless to knowledgeable…and successful. Her blog has helped her overcome the effects of the recession, has led to some amazing opportunities and has expanded her reach from local business to national (and potentially international) business. Find her at Dig This Design, PDB Home Store and Professional Kitchen and Bath Plans.
Bill Leys – Central Coast Waterproofing
The lesson from Bill is that you can add value with content and stand out in almost any industry. Who would have thought a blog about water-proofing could bring new leads, pre-qualify Bill with new customers and expand his geographic reach? Bill’s content marketing strategy differentiates his company from the competition. Find him at Central Coast Waterproofing.
Laurie A. Wheeler – Crochet Liberation Front
Contributing to the growth of a niche that has passionate followers can put you in a position of authority. The lesson from Laurie is that being authentic, community-oriented and in it for the right reasons can help the movement grow. Find her at Crochet Liberation Front.
Kevin Jacoby – CEO, Rain Computers
The Rain Computers team uses their blog and social media to infuse the internet with their unique corporate culture, connecting with and attracting like-minded clientele. Clients coming through social media turn out to be more “ideal customers” than those coming through other avenues. Find them at Rain Computers and at their blogs.
Meghan Ely – OFD Consulting
Meghan walks the walk for her wedding business marketing consultancy. She gets major PR and marketing mileage via her blog and online marketing activities, including getting featured on ABC News and the Huffington Post for her 5am Royal Wedding Party! Find her at OFD Consulting and at their blog.
Alexander Davie – Davie Law Group
Blogging on points of law that are important to his potential clients has allowed Alexander and his business to stand out and expand his company’s geographic reach. He’s moved from being a purely local, referral-based business to a national business that now gets a good portion of its leads from outside his home area. Find him at Davie Law Group and Strictly Business Law Blog.
Want To Learn More?
To hear interviews with each of these innovative entrepreneurs, to hear more of their marketing successes and failures, and to hear specifics about their favorite marketing strategies, register for the free Business Blogging Telesummit.
Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.