According to Gaebler, there are currently 1,779,932 small businesses in New York City – and that doesn’t even count self-employed individuals and merged companies. That’s a LOT of competition. Imagine contending with over 1 million enterprises, everyday, in a city with over 8 million residents.
You might probably say that hard work and diligence should be enough to attract your target market. After all, you’re in a niche industry. Unlike big brands, you don’t have international branches; so there’s no need to compete on a large scale. Unfortunately today, entrepreneurs are going to need more than muscle power and midnight oil to achieve their goals.
You’re going to need LUCK.
Luck vs. Hard Work: There’s No Competition
Getting lucky doesn’t always mean “being at the right place at the right time”. Often, it’s about “pursuing the right things at the right time”. This involves strategic planning, good timing, and having the right people on your side.
You’re probably implementing this already, you’re just not aware of it. A good example is on social media. Plenty of experts advise on publishing posts at specific times. This is so that more people would be able to see your posts and get a chance to interact with them.
For instance: according to CoSchedule, it’s ideal to post on Facebook during Fridays and weekends, when users are more active and can actually view your content. If you follow this rule and notice an increase in stats, you just got lucky the right way – and that is the best kind!
You don’t need to search for that “serendipitous” moment if you want to go viral or strike social media gold. Incorporate BOTH hard work and luck to make great things happen for your New York small business. Another awesome example would be Oreo’s “dunk in the dark” campaign.
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
Before this historical moment, Oreo’s key marketing teams were in fact, at headquarters focused on their Cookie or Creme Campaign. At the same time, there was the Super Bowl. While everyone was hard at work to make their project a success, a blackout came. Instead of ignoring what happened or scrambling to find flashlights, the team did something remarkable: they brainstormed a brilliant idea under pressure and distributed it on the right platform. After that, everything they say, is history.
But what made this single move a success? Was it really just sheer luck? I beg to differ.
- Oreo was already pursuing a social media campaign at that time. They weren’t just sitting around or waiting for an opportune moment.
- The cookie company knew how its target audience would react (i.e. whip out their phones during a lull in the event to Tweet). They used this knowledge to their advantage by being where their market was.
- Oreo employed creative, quick-thinkers into their marketing team. Their skills came in handy during this important event.
As you can see, it’s NOT all about suddenly crossing paths with Lady Luck. It involves the right efforts, from the right people, using the right knowledge. Without these three things, America’s favorite cookie wouldn’t have their golden moment. This is the right type of luck that we all need for our business – no matter the industry.
Luck and Hard Work: a Continuous Process
In order to harness the full potential of luck and hard work, a smart entrepreneur should treat them as a dynamic process instead of a one-time hit. This is something that you should do for as long as your business stands. Just like SEO, it’s ever-changing, ever-evolving.
First: focus on your target market. What do they want? Where are they? How do they interact with your brand? Where does your business fit into their everyday lives? If you have trouble answering these questions, why not ask them yourself? There are many platforms today to accomplish this. Choose from social media, email, surveys, or real interviews.
Second: create content based on your target market’s response. Content marketing allows you to promote your business WITHOUT looking aggressive or overtly promotional. Pick from among the different types to showcase your expertise: blogs, video, visuals, etc.
You don’t have to create personalized content for every platform. You can make one really good content and simply re-purpose it for use on other channels. For more information on how to do this properly, ask advice from your digital marketing expert.
Third: distribute content. Choose platforms and mediums carefully. For example: if your customers are mainly on Instagram, create an account there and post good images. Feature your products, customers, and anything relevant to your local business.
Fourth: measure results and adjust your strategies based on performance. If you want to know how customers engage with your content on social media for instance, you can use services like SproutSocial or Hootsuite. For local businesses who want to keep it simple, Google Analytics lets you see how well your website and online campaign is doing in just one simple account. Don’t be afraid to seek proper consultation if you’re not yet familiar on how to measure marketing results.
Fifth: follow-up and feature your customers. This last step comes full circle because it will take you back to step one. Connecting with your target market is the most important thing. Listen to how they are responding to your campaign, THEN ask them for feedback. Like what they are sharing about your business? Don’t forget to feature them so they know how important they are to you!
This simplified marketing strategy will not only increase your chances of getting lucky this New Year, but also help you achieve your business goals sooner.
We are entrepreneurs for a reason: it’s because we can see far into the future. For us, being “lucky” is the right combination of experience, knowledge, and connections. Coupled with a dash of hard work and a pinch of strategy, our business is where it is now because we saw opportunity where most people saw a problem.
Make your local business stand out this 2016 by looking ahead.
I’ll meet you there.