Hometown Marketing Podcast Episode 1 – Marketing Foundations

Welcome to the first episode of the Hometown Marketing Podcast!

This podcast is aimed at small business owners in towns of 15,000 people or less.

Today I discuss the basic marketing foundations every business (big or small) needs to address.


0:36 Why I choose the number 15,000.

1:11 What the plans are for the podcast.

1:29 Who our first guest will be ?

1:49 The Marketing Foundations.

5:18 Do this task to look professional and polished.


Marketing is not an option. Having a cohesive, professional presence is a must in today’s ever competitive environment.


31 Days of Social Media Content Ideas

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If you know of a small town business owner that would be great featured on the show, please share their name with me!

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If you know of a small town business owner that would be great featured on the show, please share their name with me!

Produced by hooked.studio

Marketing Foundations

Today I want to talk briefly about why I decided to start the podcast. Basically, the podcast is aimed for small businesses in towns under 15,000 people. The reason I chose that number was very strategic. The way you market in a small town is very different than in a larger community. In those smaller communities, you know a lot of people … it’s more word of mouth and your advertising options are less expensive. There is less competition. And it’s just a totally different way to get and build new business. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to focus in on small town marketing.

My plans are to alternate episodes. One time giving you tips and how to do a specific task in your business with regards to marketing each week. And then the next week will be an interview with a successful business in a small town.

The next episode is with the Mercantile out of Pendleton, SC.

Today I wanted to talk about why I started the podcast and go over the basic foundations for marketing your business.

The Marketing Foundations

Like building a house, you are going to have to grade the land and make sure it’s all level in just the way your plans are going to fit on top of there. You are going to start with your foundation. In marketing, there are some basic foundations that you want to take care of.

1-What you do and what you offer

First you want to very clearly know what you do and what you offer. You want to have that written on paper. Be very specific and very targeted.

Awhile back my dad went to a business course for his farm and that was one of the very first exercises that they had him complete… exactly what they did and who do they serve. Think of it as your elevator speech. I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase before. If you can sum it up in 2-3 sentences, what would that be? Read it to yourself aloud. Share it with others. Does it sound right? Does it flow off your lips easily? Memorize it. Make sure you can repeat it quickly without thought. You want to sum it up so well that your raving fans can EASILY repeat what you say.

I have one organization that I interact with. Every time you ask them what they do you get a totally different response. This is really not good. You need to be able to repeat it over and over again so that when that message is transferred to someone else, they know quickly and easily.

2-Know your ideal customer

The next part of your foundation is knowing your ideal customer. You can serve a lot of people with your business. But you’ve got one potential customer that is your ideal. They are the delightful people that you enjoy working with. Who do they look like? How do they act? What do they do for a living? Where do they spend their money? Where do they hangout? You should be able to clearly paint this person in your mind. This is not the same thing as your target market. They might be a part of your target market. But this is your IDEAL customer. Your target market is broad. Your ideal customer is if you only sold to one person, who is the best person. What do they look like? Where do they hang out? Where do their kids, if they have children, what kinds of activities and things do are their kids involved in?

So what happens when you identify this ideal customer, any time you write a marketing message, you need to act like you are talking directly to them. It’s going to make your messaging flow a lot easier and it’s going to help when they see your messaging… it’s going to be like you are talking right to them. And this really attracts others to you as well.

3-Id your target market

You should also identify your target market. This is broader. What kind of person or group is most attracted to what you have to offer? You need to put this all on paper. Keep it all in front of you at all times when you are doing anything marketing related. Even if you are thinking of new products to offer.

Two people can offer the exact service or product but relate to very different markets. You can look at your existing clients… especially repeat clients to help figure this out.

You want to identify where these folks gather both online and offline. Whether they have children’s activities, whether they have hobbies. You can use different marketing strategies to reach each of those areas.

4-Review printed materials and everything online

Next you need to look at all of your printed materials and everything online. I call this polish and update. Look at it all. This includes your website, social media… they all need to look like they go together. Your website doesn’t have to be fancy. But it does need to look professional and be a reflection of your business. So does what you put on social media, your business card, if you have a brochure, your social media header images and profile images. Do they all sort of flow together? They don’t have to be the same thing. But they need to flow together well.

A good thing to do is go look at other websites that you like and tweak your look and feel to match or be similar. If you don’t know where to start you can Google by your industry. If you are a baker or bakery, you could go type in ‘small town bakeries’ or ‘bakeries in __’ a neighboring town or city or state from you. You could do ‘bakeries in Georgia’ and it would pull up the top results there. That’s an easy way to do that. Or you could just pick a big city. You could do ‘bakery Charlotte, NC.’

Online design tips

I have a couple of quick online design tips with regards to websites. But this holds true on long form social media. If you were to do a long post on Facebook.

-Break large paragraphs into quick, easy to read bullets or smaller paragraphs.

-Add some pictures.

-Add a “stay updated” signup box so fans can get emails. I recommend Mailchimp for this. It’s free for small lists. So it’s a great option.

Does your email address match your domain name? It should. It’s a sign of professionalism. A lot of people I’m seeing they will have a gmail email which is fine. But what you should do is get your matching email to your domain name (eliantyson@eliantyson.com is one of mine). It happens to forward over to my gmail as I enjoy using gmail due to it’s simplicity. Then when I send mail from my personal gmail account, I can “send mail as eliantyson@eliantyson.com.” It is all professional. I highly recommend this. It’s not hard to do. It takes just a couple of steps.

Your social media profile should also coordinate with your website. This is part of your branding. Similar colors, logos, and images. With Facebook’s layout, you can take a great photograph and add it to your header image. You can do that for events. You can also do that over on LinkedIn if you use LinkedIn. Twitter will also let you do that. Pick one image that sets the stage for what you’re about. Get some new pictures if needed. Don’t forget to look at your business cards and other promotional material. They should coordinate with your site and profiles as well. I like to use VistaPrint a lot for business cards. They are affordable.

Alright, that’s pretty much a sum up of your foundations. Looking professional, similar messaging, identifying your ideal client, and then getting your target market.

I hope this is helpful for you. You can drop me a line. Let me know if you enjoy this information. I’d love for you to share this podcast with your friends and other business associates.