How to market as a small business


Even if you have the best product to sell, if no-one knows who you are then your sales are going to be minimal. It’s great being great at what you do, but people need to know how great you are.

"But I don’t have time"

Part of running your business means that you aren’t just a creator, a developer (in my case) or a service provider. Being an entrepreneur means that you need to wear many hats, and a big hat is your marketing hat.

This means you need to schedule time every week to market yourself, no matter how busy you are.

Don’t stop marketing yourself when you’re busy. This is the most critical time to keep marketing yourself. Double down on your efforts, as if you stop, the busy period WILL stop and you’ll have to start from the bottom again to develop new customers. Marketing when your busy means the busy won’t stop, meaning you have more opportunities.

Don’t be afraid of getting too much work, be afraid of having too little, having too much means that you have options, do you reduce time at a paid work, do you outsource, do you find new processes to streamline your work. Having too little means you don’t have the income to live on or grow the business, meaning you’re more likely to quit.


Follow these principles to apply in whatever marketing strategy you choose to help you be successful.

Build Trust

The purpose of your marketing efforts is not to get clicks, its to gain the trust of your consumer. Customers buy from companies that they trust.

No trust = lower sales.

5 ways to build trust

  • Be Discoverable - People need to know who you are. Consistently publish your work and be available to talk to those who engage with you.
  • Spread Value - Share what your audience wants to hear, answer their questions, give actionable advice.
  • Show Proof - If you tell me you’re great I probably won’t believe you, instead show me how others think you’re great and I’ll be convinced.
  • Show your face - Unless you’re me! People trust a business that they know who is behind it. Instagram Stories are a great way of showing who you are and that there is a person behind the business.
  • Be authentic - Don’t lie or bend the truth, people can tell when you aren’t being yourself, and there is no quicker way to break trust than to lack authenticity.

Play the long game

We have all seen the adverts where someone has just started their business and had 10,000 sales… along with £10,000 of market spend.

True marketing is a long game, you want to be first to mind when they think of your niche. This means when they’re ready to buy, they will buy from you, they don’t have to search for it, as they already know, and trust, you and your brand.

The only way to be first of mind is to be visible consistently and provide them with enough value to stick.  

Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself

“Just do it”

We know it’s Nike because they repeat it to us all the time, repeated and consistent messaging works.

Got a gorgeous product, show it off, repeatedly. Make sure that you are remembered.

Ready to give yourself the best chance of success.

Make Marketing a consistent part of your job, and it will get easier with time, and you will reap the rewards of your hard work.

Alex McLean

Co-founder of E-commerce Artisans. Experienced in web development. Passionate about books, DIY and gardening. You may find him hugging a tree every now and again.

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At E-commerce Artisans we care about one thing: helping small business creatives to start, sell, market and manage their online business. Through our blog, we regularly provide free practical advice and interesting information tailored to each of those topics. Why not have them sent straight to your inbox?