Looking for marketing tips for small business and solo businesses? Look no further than Hollywood.
Sure, movie production companies have big marketing teams and even bigger budgets. But we can glean a lot of marketing tips from movie launches.
Think about it…
A movie launch has to consider four key elements:
- The timing of its launch
- The marketing budget
- The key target audiences
- How to stand out from competitors
And as a solopreneur, you have to consider these same elements when promoting your business or product. The only difference is scale.
As a former-movie-marketing-executive-turned-freelance copywriter, I’ve identified five movie marketing tips that can benefit your solo business. And they’re not dependent on the size of your budget or team.
Marketing Tip #1: Create Early Awareness
Movie marketers release a trailer to create early mass audience awareness. When I say early, I mean six months before the movie is released to the public — sometimes even longer!
As a solopreneur, you won’t be spending thousands of dollars to “cut a trailer,” as they say in Hollywood. However, your goal should be to let as many people as possible know you’re about to launch a business or product.
You want your audience to anticipate when your product will be available or when you’ll be ready to take on clients.
Create a trailer
Getting started with video marketing may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Create your own “teaser trailer.” It doesn’t have to be a Hollywood production. You can record a fun and informative video message with your smartphone to let them know what’s coming.
But you need the right people to get excited.
Get it in front of your audience
Post it on your website and your social media channels. Then ask friends, colleagues, and any influential people you know to share it with their followers too.
Post teaser messages everywhere your audience is. Find out what social media platforms they use the most. Then tailor your messages accordingly.
Having your own version of a “teaser trailer” can be a fun and memorable way to stay top-of-mind with your best prospects.
Marketing Tip #2: Gain Insights from Performance Metrics
Even movie marketers may not get it right the first time. They use performance metrics to determine what content resonates with certain audiences and adjust their campaigns as needed.
Similarly, as a solopreneur, you can study performance metrics from your social media posts, client reviews, and Google Analytics to see which platforms or versions of your “teaser trailer” are getting the most traction.
User comments on your social media posts, articles you’ve written, and website reviews can offer insights about your audience. Use those insights to decide what you need to adjust in your campaign.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What are your clients saying about your product or service?
- Are you seeing any common themes you need to address?
- What are you doing that is getting positive responses?
- Even more important, what areas need improvement?
Having this quick feedback can be a valuable asset and may help prevent you from making costly business mistakes moving forward.
Marketing Tip #3: Test, Test, Test
Movie marketers use social media polls to get quick feedback on a variety of marketing tactics. Polls are also a fantastic way for you to get quick feedback from your Facebook groups or LinkedIn followers.
Poll your followers with questions like, what business name they like best, what their biggest challenge at work is, which title for your new e-book they like the best, and so forth.
You can create these polls in minutes and use photos if you desire. People love being asked their opinion, and often readily participate in polls on social media.
Consider these examples of polls from LinkedIn and Facebook.
Here’s a LinkedIn poll example:
And here’s one from Facebook:
Marketing Tip #4: Always Be Ready to Pivot
Marketing is a fluid process, to say the least. You must be prepared to change course at a moment’s notice. Having the ability to pivot quickly is an absolute necessity.
For example, let’s say your research and testing shows that men aged 18-24, a demographic you expected to be a key audience for your movie, would rather see your competitor’s movie on opening weekend. Ouch!
You also learn that women aged 35+, a group you never aggressively targeted, love your movie for its older supporting actors and rank it their first choice to see on opening weekend.
If you want to maximize your opening weekend ticket sales, you have to quickly pivot and shift your remaining advertising dollars to target older women.
The same idea applies to a solopreneur business.
What if you launch a product and your target audience is software-buying decision makers in Fortune 500 companies. Your initial testing shows you’re getting far more traction from small- and medium-sized business owners.
Pivot your messaging to line up with what this new audience needs from you and you’ll reap the rewards.
Yes, you should have an initial plan. But always be flexible and ready to pivot.
Marketing Tip #5: Take Big Swings
Launching a movie is a huge financial risk. Typically, movie studios spend hundreds of millions of dollars between production and marketing costs before they release a new movie.
Obviously, a solopreneur isn’t likely risking a multimillion-dollar marketing budget. However, sometimes taking a big, calculated risk can really pay off.
Imagine you’re a local solopreneur accountant and most of your clients are within one defined geographical area. Up to now you’ve spent a little here and a little there buying ads on as many social media platforms as possible.
This time you decide to do something different.
During tax season, you take your entire social media ad budget and buy one high-profile outdoor billboard on the busiest local highway near you.
You make a huge splash in your area. You’re now the “talk of the town!” And your business experiences growth immediately.
Sure, it’s a risky and bold strategy. However, taking big swings can pay off handsomely.
Here’s another example:
Let’s say you’re launching a new self-paced online copywriting course. You’re eager to offer it right away.
But, a few other competing copywriting courses have just launched as well. So that causes you some concern.
Instead of launching right away, you decide to send the online course to 10–20 influential marketing coaches and ask them to look over the course and write about it to their clients.
You offer to share the profits with those marketing coaches with an affiliate link. Then, you offer their clients a discount code for a limited time before it is released to the public.
Even though you decided to delay the launch of your online course, you end up selling far more than you ever have in the past.
That’s because you’ve built anticipation for the course and created a bigger demand by offering it at a lower price for a limited period.
And you avoided sharing the spotlight with all the other courses that released their courses at the same time.
Taking that extra risk and testing out new strategies may or may not be successful, but you would never know unless you had the guts to try them out!
Net takeaway: Take big but calculated swings!
As they say in Hollywood, “It’s a wrap!”
As a solopreneur, you’re never going to be able to perfectly plan what happens along the way. At the drop of a dime, you can lose a client, gain a client, find a new niche you want to try, or decide you need to expand and start hiring people to help you.
Whatever the situation, you can prepare yourself by:
- Always being aware of what is going on in your chosen industry
- Consistently looking for opportunities for your business to stand out and grow
- Being proactive and ready to respond to what your clients need the most
Have a solid yet adaptable content marketing strategy so you can position yourself as the knowledgeable “go-to” expert in your field.
You may not get an Oscar, but you’ll be promoting your business like a pro.